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Group sends mail to soldiers


Submitted by Deanna Rae Busch, Operation Minnesota Nice volunteer

SAUK RAPIDS - Once a month, in a backroom of the Sauk Rapids VFW, a group of about 50 people gather to pack care packages for our soldiers abroad. This group is the Central Minnesota chapter of Operation Minnesota Nice, a statewide, homegrown project formed to connect with soldiers who rarely receive mail or packages. Volunteers are responsible for making sure that each soldier receives a filled box and for the required postage.

This project would be an impossible financial commitment without the compassion of individuals such as Carissa Coborn, who was once an Operation Minnesota Nice member. Carissa, a manager at Coborn's Superstore on Cooper Avenue in St. Cloud, initiated the "Soldier Bags" being sold at the store. Bags are filled with wish-list items and sold to the public for the wholesale cost of $8. When 100 bags have been sold, Carissa works with program organizers Scott and Mary Sehnert to redesign the bag contents to assure soldier needs are being met. To date, more than 300 bags, filled with food and personal care items, have been purchased by the community.

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