Sending love and care packages to our troops in time for the holidays

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) This week, we remember and honor our veterans. And what better way to say “thank you” to the men and women who bravely serve than by sending them a little love this holiday season?

Until 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, friends, family and people just showing their support, will be at Frank’s Pizza on Brambleton Ave. in Roanoke.

They’re gathering donations and individual care packages for Roanoke native, 1st Lt. Jared Varney, and his unit.

Lt. Varney is a Pilot in A Co. 2-224th of the Virginia Army National Guard. He and his unit are deployed in Iraq.

“We knew that the Roanoke area was a patriotic area, but we had no idea. And for it to be going to your son, husband, grandson, there really aren't words to say thank you,” said Lt. Varney’s mother, Katie.

If you head out to drop off any donations, look for anyone in shirts honoring Lt. Varney’s unit.

They’re looking for hard candy, chewing gum, hot sauce, instant oatmeal and cereal, cereal bars, sunflower seeds, nuts, tuna/salmon packets, microwavable meals, boxed or canned chips, cookies, crackers, popcorn, peanut butter, ramen noodles, jerky/beef sticks, and coffee.

Also, they’re asking for important toiletries; things like Clorox wipes, air fresheners, hand sanitizer, body wash and soap, therma wraps, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.

In addition to these items, things like games, playing cards, and reading materials are on the list, as well as AA and AAA batteries and mini sewing kits.

They cannot accept pork products, homemade food items, chocolate, or anything with glass.

“Already, we have enough goods to fill about 40 boxes. Our goal was 50, and we haven’t even really gotten going yet!” Varney said.

Anyone who wishes to donate items or cash can do so until Friday, Nov. 11 at Frank’s.

They will pack everything up and ship the care packages just in time for the unit to open them for Christmas.