The Joliet Junior College Bookstore, located on the Main Campus at 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet, is accepting care package donations to send to U.S. troops overseas.
The bookstore collects care package items and monetary donations year round, however, their next shipment will go out on Monday, June 17. All donations for this shipment should be taken to the bookstore by Thursday, June 13. Donors can bring in monetary donations, loose items, or already-made care packages.
In addition to bringing in donations, the bookstore is selling goodie bags for $1. These bags, filled with items like beef jerky, sunflower seeds, and candy, can be purchased at the front desk, and will be sent out with the rest of the care packages.
Since the bookstore began making goodie bags four years ago, 2,860 have been sent out, according to Bookstore Accounts Coordinator Cindy Mayfield.
The bookstore partners with “Boatsie’s Boxes,” a non-profit organization that distributes the packages to troops overseas. “Boatsie’s Boxes,” sends care packages from around the country to more than 20,000 troops in all branches of the military. The organization also sends items to hospitals and medics in Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Africa.
Bookstore Manager Mike Maier said that JJC became involved shortly after the organization’s inception, approximately nine years ago. The bookstore sends their care packages to “Boatsie’s Boxes,” multiple times each year.
“This organization came along, and we thought it would be a great way to give back to the men and women who are serving,” said Maier.
Maier added that the bookstore does not organize these care package collections to support a political affiliation – they do so to support the people, the U.S. troops; to let them know that they are not forgotten.
“We are so far removed from the war,” Maier said. “We lead very safe lives over here. When you hear and see what soldiers are exposed to and how they have to live – this is our way of giving back to them, letting them know they’re not forgotten.”
A variety of items can be donated to the bookstore for the care packages. They accept big items like basketballs and small items, like travel size shampoo bottles.
“They are so appreciative of any little thing, things we take for granted,” Mayfield said.
Good items to donate for summer include:
• Freezer pops
• Neck coolers
• Small battery operated fans
• Windex wipes, foam squeegees
• Powdered energy drinks
• Saline eye drops or nose drops/spray
• All purpose wipes (unscented individual packs)
• Body wash for men and women
• Bug repellent towelettes (no spray, no DEET)
• Fly paper/fly swatters
• Sun block SPF 50
• Carmex or Chapstick
• Air freshener
• Over the counter allergy medicine
• Powdered laundry detergent
For a complete listing, visit the bookstore’s website at www.jjc.edu/services-for-students/academic-resources/bookstore. For more information about the care package donations, contact Mayfield or Maier at the bookstore by calling 815-280-2288.