BREAKING NEWS

Livingston organization sends care packages to troops overseas

Livingston, Texas (KETK) - The main room of Livingston Physical Therapy is normally for patients but once a month it serves a different purpose.

"Once a month we have a little meeting that we pack care packages for military personnel from the area," said Dan Ellis, Secretary of F.A.I.T.H.

It's called F.A.I.T.H, families and individuals thanking heroes and it started 11 years ago when Ellis' son joined the Marine Corps.

"He was a top ranked athlete in the state and passed up the opportunity to go play college football to go to the Marine Corps," said Dan Ellis. "It's kind of an interesting situation we always say he enlisted, momma and daddy got drafted."

They wanted to surround themselves with other families in the same situation, thus f.a.i.t.h and the care packages were born.

Inside each care package is a little bit of everything mostly food and toiletries. Simple things we normally take for granted.

F.A.I.T.H also packs a generous amount of socks thanks to a deal with a skating rink in Conroe.

Every month they send well over 100 boxes and each box weighs around 25 pounds.

Ellis' son is the primary reason for the contents of the box, he let his parents know exactly what they should send and sometimes the requests seem a little odd.

"I think the oddest thing we ever had requested was our son asked us to send him silly string," said Dan Ellis. 

Ellis eventually sent at least 100 cans of silly string overseas and never knew what it was used for until his son returned.

Turns out Ellis' son and other soldiers would use the silly string to locate trip wires when clearing buildings.

The silly string and all the other contents of the care packages were donated by people in the Livningston/Polk County area 

"Most of us have friends or family members that are either currently or have served in the military and we know how important it is for them to get some contact with the folks back home and get these care packages," said Mary Ferguson, F.A.I.T.H Volunteer.

Though the items in the boxes may not seem like much, the impact it has left is what has kept them going all these years.

In fact, they have only missed one month in the 11 years of doing this and that was in 2008 after Hurricane Ike damaged the area.

Over the past decade some packing days have been less thrilling than others but all it takes is meeting a soldier who received a package to change it.

"Then we get a letter from one of the kids and they say I got it at the right moment," said Bea Ellis, F.A.I.T.H Board Member. "And it just reaffirms what we do or somebody will stop in here one day and say hey I just wanted to tell you thanks because I got a care package and I don't know who put my name on the list but I needed everything that was in it."

The only thing F.A.I.T.H asks for in return is for others to join their effort.

For more information about F.A.I.T.H and the care packages visit their website http://www.livingstonfumc.org/f-a-i-t-h


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