The Oyster Cove community in Grasonville has started an outreach program in an effort to give back to the community and become more involved in helping others. Several projects completed so far this year were “Operation Shoebox” and the Thanksgiving Food Program.
Operation Shoebox is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 to support the men and women deployed outside the USA. Their primary mission according to their website is “to help raise (troops) morale and let them know they are cared about. We accomplish our mission with care packages, letters, and bulk shipping of items that can be beneficial to them during their deployment. Our Organization is composed of over 1300 dedicated volunteers in three locations and also volunteers all across the USA that assist in accomplishing our mission…”
One of the important ways this organization helps to support the troops is with care packages. Traditionally each care package has been sent in a cloth bag with a draw string handmade by one of the program volunteers. A handwritten letter is usually included along with snacks, hygiene and stationary packets and other small items that might be useful and/or interesting or helpful to the troops. During the Operation Shoebox drive that started in July and ended in September, Oyster Cove households donated over 900 items to be sent in shoe boxes for the troops serving in Afghanistan. Oyster Cove was a collection site for the VFW Memorial Post 7464 in Grasonville.
In October the community began collecting food for the Queen Anne’s County Community Thanksgiving Food Program and the Living Water Food Bank and Thrift Shop in Stevensville. Through food donations the Oyster Cove community provided ten families Thanksgiving food boxes consisting of a frozen turkey plus all the trimmings from stuffing to vegetables, desserts and snacks for kids. The boxes were for families of two all the way up to seven. So much was collected for the Thanksgiving boxes that additional food could be donated to the Living Water Food Bank.
Oyster Cove will be continuing their outreach efforts throughout the year. Donations for troops are always welcome at the VFW Post in Grasonville. For more information on the Operation Shoebox program, go to www.operationshoebox.com.
In photo: Oyster Cove residents: L to R — Sally Lederer, Georgette Toews, Louise Shapiro, Sue Kamp, Ellen Filer, Kathy Szostak