The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

ENMU sending care packages to troops


October 21, 2009

Courtesy photo: ENMU Eastern New Mexico University student James Golden (left) and Nikki Howard executive secretary of Academic Affairs help fill care boxes for military members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Eastern New Mexico University has been collecting donations of different items to send to troops over in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past year.

A total of 17 boxes have been sent over and the university is working on more.

Nikki Howard, executive secretary in Academic Affairs at ENMU started sending care packages to her son who was in the Army in Iraq.

Howard said other people started asking why they couldn’t send packages to other soldiers. Soon, they were gathering items for other soldiers.

“Our administrators provide the money to mail it with,” Howard said. “We use the A.P.O. flat rate boxes and we fill one of those as full as we can get it. We kind of target the package to the gender of the person we are sending it to.”

The package goes to a person or to the overall unit so someone that can’t use an item can pass it along to someone else in the unit.

Some of items in packages include AA and AAA batteries, toothbrushes, toilet paper, dental floss, razors, shaving cream, foot powder, gum, candy, playing cards, trail mix, puzzle books, books, hacky sacks, stationary, magazines, yo-yos, cool collars and brain savers.

“Hand held games are fun or even little silly games,” Howard said. “These guys are bored and they need something to do. Even at the dollar store you can get one of those round things that has a sticky ball with it.”

Donations boxes can be found on campus at the Golden Library, the Physical Plant, Human Resources office, Academic Affairs and the University Computer Center.

Howard said they are targeting people with an ENMU connection, a student’s family members or an employee’s family members.

Steven Gamble, ENMU president writes a letter to the troops that is included in the package.

“I think it is a very good gesture on the part of the university personal to tell the people who are deployed...we are proud of them,” Gamble said. “We are proud of all the folks who are in the military and those who are deployed right now, are making a special sacrifice. This is just our way of saying thank you.”


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