The Treats for Troops organization in Ennis has faced challenges in the past and has always come out on top due to the generosity of the community. This time the organization is counting on the community to help pay for postage to ship the boxes to the soldiers in Iraq. Due to increasing rates within the postal system, the flat rate boxes that used to cost $8.10 to mail now cost $8.95. The increase has not deterred the group from moving forward with collecting items but members do not have all the funds necessary to ship items.

“We understand the post office has to have rate increases and that will not stop us from sending our soldiers the items they need to be more comfortable as they fight for our freedom. What we will need help with is the added funds for postage to make sure the packages get sent,” said Harriet Adams, organizer of Treats for Troops.

The community has been very helpful in past campaigns, baking cookies, bringing in coffee cans to ship the baked goods in and helping to pack boxes filled with requested items.

This campaign has been extra special because the Ennis High School student council, under the direction of Jim Turney, collected school supplies to send to an Iraqi school that the soldiers who currently receive care packages have adopted.

“The student council was just outstanding in their efforts to collect supplies for the school children in Iraq. They sent us literally boxes full of paper, pencils, erasers and all sorts of things the Iraqi students will need,” Adams said.

To ensure that not all the student’s time is spent studying, the group has also collected soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, frisbees and jump ropes to send to the school as well.

“I can’t wait to hear how excited the kids are when they open these toys. Those children aren’t raised the same as American children and what we take for granted, they think is a treasure, I’m sure they will be very thankful for everything they receive,” Adams said.

Sending the school supplies will take extra postage as most of the items are heavy and can’t be shipped in flat rate boxes. The added cost is a concern for Adams but a task she feels is essential for the group to take on and conquer.

“I’m not saying anything that everyone else hasn’t thought about but the only way we are going to end this war is by education. The children in Iraq are taught from one book and only have an opportunity to see a small section of how the world works. We need to help educate them about the world so they can make educated decisions about how they live. We send these things and help those children in hopes that Ennis does not have to send any more soldiers to help with this fight,” Adams said.

The group is asking anyone who hasn’t already had the opportunity to contribute to the cause to consider donating.

“If one family paid for one box that is only $8.95 it isn’t a lot to ask to help our troops be as comfortable as they can be while they are away from home,” said Dana Turner, who printed all the labels and filled out custom forms for the upcoming shipment.

Christi Kubin helped organize the Vacation Bible School children at the packing location of First Christian Church to write letters to the soldiers that will be included in the boxes being sent.

“The kids have written letters of gratitude and colored pictures for the soldiers so when they open their boxes they know that everyone back home thinks about them. We know from previous correspondence from the soldiers that they appreciate every word,” Adams said.

To donate to the Treats for Troops campaign, contact Harriet Adams at (972) 878-2400.