The Packages from Home Project is turning out to be a success. The idea it to send personal care and gift items to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thursday morning, News Channel 3 joined Step Up for Soldiers and The Big Talker FM in a drive for more items to send. Tom Russell and his wife started Step Up for Soldiers, the organization behind Packages from Home, four years ago. For him, there's a simple reason why people should support American troops through these donations. "It's their country, and it's their military, and it's their freedom," he said. It is that kind of motivation that drew in many of Thursday's donors to the Packages from Home drive in Leland, including veteran Tom Reilly. "For the people that are over there, I'm sure it's greatly appreciated. I've got some family who was in both Gulf wars, so I'm familiar with it,” Reilly said. Don Lehmer drove all the way from his home near Wrightsville Beach just to drop off a check to support the program. He remembers how much care packages mean to the troops from his time in the service stationed in Africa, sharing the experience with comrades. "We shared brownies. We shared all kinds of stuff that were just so special from back home. It's a very lonely time being away from family when you're in the service," said Lehmer. If you missed Thursday morning's event, you can still help. Personal care and gift items are needed for both men and women. Drop them off at the WWAY station at 615 North Front Street in Wilmington, or at the many other drop-off locations around the area.
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