Sarah Grinder's plan to send a care package to her son who is stationed in the Persian Gulf got an unexpected boost through the power of Facebook.
Amanda Lolli, Sarah's daughter, posted a list of approved items that may be sent in packages to soldiers with the request that anyone who was interested in helping contact her.
Shannon Doyle, who is the store manager of the Dollar General, north location in Kirksville saw Amanda's post.
"She told us that she had been looking for a church or individual in Macon who was sending stuff to soldiers," said Grinder. "She has collected items in the past and gave them to be sent to soldiers from the Kirksville area."
Cary Brickey, formerly of Macon, is the store assistant manager.
"We have boxes out in the store with signs that read 'Snacks for Soldiers" where our customers can donate items, said Brickey. "This is not a company wide project, just something we have done at this store."
On Friday, July 12, Sarah and her sister Mae Graham met at the First Baptist Church in Macon to assemble the boxes.
Sarah purchased eight U.S, Postal Service Flat Rate Boxes to fill. The military rate charged to mail each box is $14.95.
Grinder said that First Baptist Church members are helping with the postage .
"When people in the church see a need, they just start giving money to help," she said. "This is a very giving church."
Grinder will begin to mail the packages out early next week, and she estimates it will take another week after mailing to reach their destinations.
"It looks like we will mail two packages to each of four destinations," said Grinder. "I asked if any of the church members had a connection to someone serving overseas and as a result two packages will be sent to Japan and two to Afghanistan."
Two more will be sent to Afghanistan at a later date to the Macon-based 1438th Engineering Unit that will be going there later this summer.
The remaining two packages will go to Grinder's son, Staff Sgt. Eric Hyde who is currently stationed in the United Arab Emirates at Al-Dhafra.
"Eric says that whenever a package is received it is like Christmas for the soldiers," says Grinder. "He says that they just dump everything in a big bowl for everyone to enjoy. Some soldiers never receive anything."
"I am just amazed with the response," she said. "It's pretty cool that someone we didn't even know saw a post on Facebook and it came to all this."