Funds sought to send care packages | NevadaAppeal.com

Funds sought to send care packages

by Maggie O'Neill
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Bordewich-Bray Elementary School students, from left, Annie Crounse, Eliza Matley, Andrew Peckham and Jerry Gifford carry boxes of supplies that will be shipped to troops in Kuwait. Bordewich-Bray students collected more than 30 boxes of items, ranging from candy to sports equipment to DVDs.
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The boxes are packed and more than half have been sent. Now, Stephanie Matley, mother of two, is running out of postage.

Matley, 34, is sending more than 30 boxes of food, gum, games, books, DVDs and Wet-Wipes to the 1864th Transportation Unit of the Nevada Army National Guard.

“I feel like the troops are there protecting our country and our livelihood, and they deserve our attention and our care,” she said as she wiped away a tear Monday at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.

The National Guard unit has already received several of Matley’s boxes, which take about two weeks to arrive, and Matley still at least 10 to send.

“We have about $100 left,” she said Monday, as she prepared to send out more boxes.

Her husband, Marshall, who is part of the 1864th, has been stationed at Camp Arifjan in central Kuwait for the past several months. The 1864th’s mission is to run supply convoys into Iraq.

The donation drive for the Nevada Army National Guard unit began at Bordewich-Bray in early November. Two members of the Nevada National Guard, who received items from Matley’s donation drive last year, visited students and told them how much they appreciated the items.

“They said that such a small gesture really helped them,” she said.

Since the beginning of the this year’s drive, more than 150 books, 15 containers of Wet-Wipes and 30 DVDs have been collected. Matley has packed up soccer balls, footballs and a Frisbee.

“And someone was even thoughtful enough to send an air pump,” she said.

Bordewich-Bray students have donated about 75 percent of the items. Pioneer High School students sent two boxes to the school, Kit Carson Post 3726 Veterans of Foreign Wars supplied $50 for postage and 175 calling cards, and Albertsons donated leftover Halloween candy.

“I think the drive is cool because if I was a soldier, I might be wanting something like a DVD or something over there,” said fifth-grader Andrew Peckham.

Fourth-grader Erica Cone was one of the students who brought in items for the drive: Kool-Aid, baby wipes and footballs. On Monday, she helped Matley transport some of the boxes at the school.

“It makes me feel kinda pretty good to do this, but sad that the troops don’t have a lot of stuff,” she said.

Now, Matley just needs a little more money for postage. And then the drive is done until next year, when she wants to send water bottles with fans attached.

“People can donate any amount they want,” Matley said. “They can just call me.”

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’neill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

YOU CAN HELP

What: Postage for 10 care packages

Who: For the Nevada Army National Guard in Kuwait

Contact: Stephanie Matley at 884-4245