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5,000 packages sent

Cleo Reilling, left, holds package packed by Redshirts member Delma Olsen while Redshirts President Frank Muller looks on.
The Brookings-Harbor Redshirts reached a milestone Friday when the group mailed its 5,000th package to a person in the military serving overseas.

The package was addressed to Maribel Or- tega, a young woman serving in Afghanistan. The contents of the box were packed by Redshirt Delma Olsen.

Brookings-Harbor Redshirts have been sending care packages to U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006, bringing the average to about 1,000 packages sent a year. The group collects addresses of those serving from members of the community.

Frank Muller, Redshirts president, said that the packages mailed Friday morning were sent mostly to women. March has been pro- claimed the month to honor women in the mil- itary. All of the packages were sent to members of an Oregon engineering company in Afghanistan.

While the packages were being weighed and processed, and the total for postage was being calculated, it was evident that this labor of love comes with a cost.

In order to raise money to pay for postage and other costs, the Redshirts kicked off a raffle Friday.

“We will have a booth at the port (during the upcoming farmers markets), at festivals and groceries stores.” said Sharon Hitzman, Redshirts vice president. Tickets may also be purchased from Redshirts members.

Three prizes will be drawn. First prize is $2,000, second is $300 and third is $200. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. The drawing will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 during the Redshirts’ annual concert and candlelight vigil in Azalea Park.

In addition to the raffle, the group is putting together a cookbook titled “While We Were Gone – Recipes Missed Most by our Military.”

“We are collecting recipes from veterans and military families,” Hitzman said.

People submitting recipes are asked to include the name of the service member, their rank and person responsible for the recipe. People may also include a photo and a note telling why this is the recipe missed most.

Recipes may be sent to Hitzman at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or to Brookings-Harbor Redshirts, c/o Sharon Hitzman, 15821 Highway 101, Brookings, OR 97415. For informa- tion about the cookbook, call Hitzman at 541- 412-8968.

The Redshirts also rely on donations of goods to be included in the packages.

Recently the Girl Scouts donated 100 packages of cookies, Muller said. Girl Scouts are planning to help putting the cookies in the care packages at the Redshirts’ next packing day, Muller said.

The group meets at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 7, at Lighthouse Assembly of God, 15803 High-

way 101, Harbor. Donations of food, snacks and hygiene items are always welcome.

The Brookings-Harbor High School Lead- ership Class is also helping to boost soldiers’ morale by writing letters, Muller said.

“We’ve got the whole community supporting us,” Muller said. “It’s marvelous.”

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