Good Samaritans making sure packages reach troops

FRESNO, Calif.

People are stepping forward with donations to send a taste of home to the troops. A Fresno man, whose family owns a UPS shipping store in Hanford, called Action News offering assistance to the church.

He's willing to cover the costs to ship the care packages and with money the church's congregation donated Sunday.

The troops could be getting better gifts than originally planned. This broken donation box is a terrible reminder that crooks burglarized Hanford's First Christian Church last week.

The thieves broke through several doors, into several offices and stole about 300 dollars in cash and homemade fudge. The dessert was supposed to go into these care packages and the money was going to pay to ship them to three Hanford service men deployed in Afghanistan.

"That's where I decided we would step up and do a good thing for the Hanford community and most importantly the soldiers," said Chad Ross of Fresno.

When Ross learned about the theft on Action News he knew he had to help. And at church services Sunday the congregation also stepped up.

"I was greeting people as they came in, and people came up to me and were handing me checks and money and that kind of thing," said Youth Minister Bredgetta Longfellow.

Now, many more packages like these will be sent to Afghanistan and bring a taste of the valley with them.

"I just appreciate what they're doing for us, that's the least I could do for them... is offer a little incentive for the church to get something to them for the military to open," Ross said.

"I'm planning on sending those out tomorrow because I'm afraid if I wait any longer they're not going to get them until after Christmas," Longfellow said.

The church's youth minister said her youth group has been sending the care packages since April.

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