Each year, Volunteer Northwest Mississippi hosts an event to observe the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance and there are big plans in the works to make this year an epic occasion.  When considering what to do for 9/11, Anna Dickerson, Director of Volunteer Northwest Mississippi and Brenda Smith, the Web-based Volunteer Recruitment Specialist, decided to dedicate this year to those who continue to serve our country overseas.  Volunteer Northwest Mississippi decided that the best way to do this in DeSoto County would be to pick up the torch for Mid-South Project Package and be a champion for them throughout the month of August and into September.  Our second annual event in 2015 was a huge success for Project Package and many local partners.  With the help of partners like BancorpSouth, C-Spire, local Boy Scout troops, the Northwest Mississippi Association of Realtors and many others more than $2500 was raised and more than 800 pounds of care package supplies were collected for Project Package.  We hope to have an even better result in 2016.

Mid-South Project Package is a nonprofit, all volunteer organization committed to sending weekly care packages overseas to troops from the midsouth.  This month marks their twelve year anniversary of sending care packages to troops as a way to let them know that they are not forgotten and that they are appreciated.  Rickey Pope, Executive Director of Project Package, began this organization years ago when he was working as the Family Assistance Center Supervisor for the National Guard.  A day wouldn’t go by that he did not get asked how someone could support the troops or mail a package to someone.  When it all first began, Pope would send letters to local churches to get names of servicemen and women serving overseas and from there it grew. Eleven years later and Project Package is still just as relevant.  Each month Project Package sends out more than 400 packages to servicemen and women from the midsouth.  They receive names from churches, the National Guard office, and people in the community.  Each week they do their best to mail a package to everyone that they know about and most of the packages that they send go to Afghanistan.

Volunteers will come together on Thursday, September 8th at the Southaven Armory on Stateline Road to help Project Package assemble care packages using the donations collecting during August.  Dickerson hopes to have a good turnout of support from local government officials and local media to spotlight Project Package and the incredible work that they do.

There are many ways you can help Project Package and serve in honor of 9/11. Throughout August several local businesses are collecting items for the care packages.  If you would like for your business, church group, school group, or anyone to participate, please contact Anna Dickerson at 901-619-6120 or at volunteer@cfnm.org no later than August 15th.  You can also donate funds to Project Package to help cover the cost of postage by visiting http://tinyurl.com/MSprojectpackage to donate online. You may also volunteer on September 8th to assemble care packages.  If you would like to volunteer, please email Anna Dickerson at volunteer@cfnm.org.   Care package items needed are:

  • Baby Wipes (Unscented)
  • Batteries (Any Size)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Bug Spray/Wipes
  • Candy Bars
  • Coffee (1 lb or smaller)
  • Cookies (Individual Sizes)
  • Deodorant
  • Eye Drops
  • Flip Flops
  • Foot Powder
  • Fruit Cups
  • Gum
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Hard Candy (Individually Wrapped)
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Little Debbie Snacks Lotion
  • Mouth Wash (small)
  •  Nuts (all types)
  • Oatmeal Cream Pies
  • Peanuts
  • Pop Tarts
  • Pop Corn
  • Pre-Sweetened Drink Packets (Individual Size)
  • Ready-to-eat-meals
  • Slim Jims
  • Snack Crackers
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet Tissue
  • Tooth Brushes w/case
  • Tooth Paste
  • Trail Mix
  • Tuna Packets