ROXBURY, NJ – The Roxbury Rotary Club hopes to expand on a program in which it sent packages of donated goods to Roxbury residents serving in the armed forces overseas.

The club recently sent the packages to 12 service members, said its president, Steve Alford.

He said the club hoped to send more than double that amount and remains hopeful people in town will provide it with more names and addresses. "Our plan is to keep a running list as we identify even more residents of Roxbury currently serving, so they can receive these packages as well,” Alford said.

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The goal of the package shipments was to not only give the military personnel items they likely need but to also let them know they're remembered and appreciated, Alford said.

“We as a club decided we wanted to honor and show some love and support to residents from Roxbury who are currently serving our country in the armed forces,” he explained. “We raised some money for the project and then asked TAPinto Roxbury to do a story and help us identify who some of those residents were.”

Rotarians Went Shopping

The club chose Nov. 1 as the day to send the packages. Two Roxbury Rotarians, Martin Agachinski and Don Schuld, who is a veteran, coordinated the project.

The club came up with a list of items for the packages - including socks, batteries, beef jerky, M&M's and toiletries - and each Rotarian was asked to buy and donate the items.

“We could find only 12 recipients by our target date, but we had budgeted for 27 care packages, so we made the decision to send multiple boxes to each recipient with a note asking the boxes be shared with their squads,” Alford said.

He said the club received messages from almost all the service members who got a package. Most said they were touched by the club’s effort, said the items were helpful and made a point of telling the Rotarians “how nice it was to be appreciated,” according to Alford.

"All of these people have made a decision to go and defend our country, and we just wanted them to know how grateful we are and how proud we are of Roxbury," Alford said.

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