Just days after putting out an appeal for help, volunteers with Operation Dustin Gross say they're amazed with the outpouring of support.
The volunteers gathered donations from the community in order to put together care packages to send to troops in Afghanistan. The Montgomery County High School ROTC started the initiative after the death of 19-year old Private First Class Dustin Gross. Gross, who was a 2011 graduate of the school, died while serving in Afghanistan. They asked the community to bring items for the care packages and they got a big response. On Monday, the group had enough money to mail 140 of those packages, but they still had more than 100 packages that they could not afford to ship.
After asking for donation on Monday, volunteers with Operation Dustin Gross say they're getting checks from all over the country, including one from North Carolina today. But is was a major donation from a local company that helped give the organization a major boost. Nestlé in Mt. Sterling has stepped in, offering to pay postage for any other care packages the group can put together.
"As members of the Mt. Sterling community, we were saddened by the loss of this young soldier and moved by the outpouring of support to Operation Dustin Gross as a way to honor his memory. As you know, the community has been quite generous in their support of this charity -- but there remained a small gap to cover the costs of postage. We simply stepped forward to close this gap because we felt it was the right thing to do," John Reinwald, Nestlé Mt. Sterling Factory Manager said in a statement.
Now, volunteers say they have about 900 toothbrush and toothpaste sets. They just need items like deodorant, toilet paper, magazines and drink mixes to complete more boxes. All of those boxes have to be shipped out by July first.
Any donations can be sent to or dropped off at Montgomery County High School.
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