DECEMBER 23, 2008

G.I. Go and the City of Newark Help Send 80 Holiday Care Packages Overseas

On display were nearly 80 care packages being sent to troops stationed in Iraq. The boxes contain food ranging from chips to beef jerky, cookies to granola bars, and essential toiletries, ranging from baby wipes to hand sanitizers.

NEWARK, NJ - Mayor Cory Booker and G.I. Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous joined today at the City Hall Rotunda to dispatch holiday care packages to hundreds of military service members stationed in Iraq, including 350 Newark residents.

On display were nearly 80 care packages being sent to troops stationed in Iraq. The boxes contain food ranging from chips to beef jerky, cookies to granola bars, and essential toiletries, ranging from baby wipes to hand sanitizers.

“The courage of our men and women from Newark and New Jersey who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and across the globe demand our respect. At a time when we are celebrating the holidays with our families, they are standing guard far from home. We appreciate their sacrifices for our country and hope these care packages bring them some holiday cheer,” Booker said.

The packages will go to the nearly 350 Newark residents who are currently stationed in the combat zones. The items were collected at the VA New Jersey Healthcare facility in East Orange under the guidance of the hospital director Kenneth Mizrach, and Hospitals Transition Unit Director Michelle Stefanelli. They were donated largely by Allied Aviation of Newark Liberty International Airport, Local 1445 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and members of the Air Transport Workers Union.

In addition, the New Providence Women’s Association donated nearly 100 hand-woven hats and scarves, and the boxes were packed with letters to troops from Newark and East Orange schoolchildren in grades two through eight. The packages were assembled and shipped by the G.I. Go Fund.

“Hopefully we will bring some holiday cheer to our soldiers as they selflessly serve to protect our freedom. None of this would be possible today without the leadership of Mayor Booker who is making the needs of our soldiers and veterans a priority of his administration,” Fanous said.

Along with these essential items sent to the troops, the care packages include hundreds of holiday cards created by school children in the Newark area.

“We have sent greeting cards to the soldiers in the past, and they are always well received. The soldiers always enjoy hearing from the youth of this country, receiving a well-deserved thank you for the selfless work that they are doing for this country. They know who they are protecting, who they are trying to defend this country for. So when they see the kind words our children send to them, it is always a good thing,” said Fanous.