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National Day Of Service: Volunteers Assemble Care Packages For Troops

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Volunteers will be assembling care packages for service members overseas on the National Day of Service.
Markette Smith
Volunteers will be assembling care packages for service members overseas on the National Day of Service.

As inaugural events in D.C. get underway, thousands of people will begin the weekend assembling care packages for military men and women as part of Saturday's National Day of Service.

At the D.C. Armory, volunteers with the nonprofit Points of Light are setting up items — everything from toothpaste to teddy bears and handwritten notes — all to go into more than 100,000 care packages for active military personnel on deployment.

“When you can come together and celebrate an inauguration around service, it’s kind of the best of both worlds,” says Gary Renville with Points of Light.

High ranking officials, such as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, are scheduled to help. Capt. John Adams received a similar package a few years back while serving in Afghanistan.

"I received a precious letter from a young child in Arizona telling me that he's proud of my service and wishing me luck, and also telling me that if I get back, he's going to treat me to some frozen yogurt," Adams says. "And he signed it ‘Tommy,’ so I still have to cash in with Tommy, but I certainly appreciated it."

Adams says, the letter was his favorite part of the package, calling them "a big morale booster."

“I always tell people the care packages represented so much more than the contents inside,” he says. “We felt an everlasting connection with Americans back home. This is just one aspect of what I received in an Operation Gratitude Care Package."

The volunteer effort is part of the Presidential Inaugural Committee's official Day of Service events.

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