CHATHAM, NJ - It might be a little early to starting thinking about Christmas, but not for Kate Purschke.

The Chatham High sophomore is in the process of making her list of military people from Chatham serving overseas. The idea is to send "Christmas in a Box" to service members from their home town.

People can donate online at from now until Oct. 24. Also, there will be a collection bin at the library (also until the 24th) for any of the items listed below.

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Purschke got the idea when she saw the reaction of her dad's cousin, who received such a package while serving in Iraq.

"He was so grateful and it just made me realize that we should be thanking these people more," Purschke said. "I want to find CHS graduates who are serving in the military, so we can send them care packages, something like Christmas in a Box."

Purschke,15, is hoping to earn a Gold Award for her "Christmas in a Box" project, which would gain her elite status in the Girl Scouts. The Gold Award is the Girl Scout equivalent to the Eagle Scout status aspired to by Boy Scouts.

"The hard part is finding military members from Chatham," Purschke said. "There are no databases that list where they are from."



Beef jerkey/turkey jerkey, granola bars, slim Jims, breath mints, gum, soup (cup of soup/soup at hand), powdered drink mix, hot chocolate, sugar/coffee, cereal (single-serving size), Kraft Easy Mac, tea bags, cereal bars/pop tarts, microwave food (non perishable), trail mix, canned fruit/vegetables, mustard, ketchup, Ranch dressing, Italian dressing, coffee creamer, powdered drink mix, Twizzlers, cookies (sandwich type), Pringles (cans only), oatmeal, dried fruits, pumpkin/sunflower seeds/nuts, spam/canned meat (chicken, tuna, Vienna sausage).


Baby powder, first aid items, soap, bug repellent wipes, foot powder/foot care, sunscreen, chap stik/lip balm, hand lotion, tissues, nail clippers, moisturizer, toilet paper (individual), dental floss, Q-Tips, tooth brush, deodorant (non aerosol), over-the-counter meds, toothpaste/wisp, baby wipes, razors (disposable), waterless hand sanitizer, eye moisture drops, underwear/undershirts, socks-boot socks/black or white on the bottom black on top, feminine hygiene products, shaving gel, cough drops/throat drops.


Batteries (AA or AAA), playing cards, DVD movies, Zip ties, phone cards (international), utility rings/hooks/rope, duct tape, magazines.