Care packages aim to cheer diggers
BUNDABERG RSL secretary Wendy Morris hopes an Australian stamp and the numbers 4670 will bring a smile to the face of local soldiers serving overseas.
The sub-branch plans to send care packages to local diggers engaged in foreign conflicts to mark special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays.
The packages will include magazines and local news-papers, toiletries such as soap and shower gel, and lollies and tinned foods
Mrs Morris said it was the simple things that soldiers serving overseas often missed the most.
“Things that we take for granted over here can become awfully hard to come by for our servicemen,” she said.
The sub-branch is now in the process of compiling a care-package register and has appealed to the community to come forward with the names and details of soldiers serving abroad.
Mrs Morris said common household items would be worth their weight in gold in the army barracks and camps overseas.
“We want our servicemen to know their region and community has not forgotten them,” she said.
“A little gift can make a huge difference when you're away from your friends and family in a foreign country.”
Mrs Morris said a common complaint of soldiers was loneliness and boredom during downtime in their tour.
“They miss their loved ones at home, they miss their friends and they miss their home town,” she said.
“We sincerely hope this will help to brighten their day a bit and show their community still cares about them.”
Mrs Morris hoped the inclusion of a copy of the NewsMail in the care packages would also help the diggers to stay in touch with their community.
“There's a sense of isolation that comes from being stuck on the other side of the world in a culture very different to your own,” she said.
“In most cases they are only getting Australian news and they miss out on what's happening in Bundaberg.”
Mrs Morris said a similar idea introduced on the Fraser Coast had been a success.
“I think it's a great concept and we're pretty eager to start getting some care packages in the mail,” she said.
“They are serving our country, which is something not everyone is willing to put their hand up to do.”