Local deputies collect goodies for those serving in Iraq

first_img“It seems like this war has been going on for so long that people have forgotten about those stationed over there,” he said. “And Wanda’s been doing this for so long that I didn’t want to let her down either.” Smith said her first collections started at about 800 pounds. Six years later, they’re topping the scales at 25,000 pounds. “I just want them to feel like they’re at home, or like a piece of home is coming to them,” Smith said. Anyone interested in donating can call Smith at (562) 944-6072. [email protected] (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I started doing this three weeks after the war started because I saw it was something that needed to be done,” said Smith. She gets support from deputies at the sheriff’s Norwalk Station, where she’s been a volunteer for more than six years. Donated items are dropped off at the Norwalk Station, and Smith also solicits donations from local businesses, such as See’s Candies and Sam’s Club. She brings the items home and packs them into boxes and ships them to Camp Pendleton, where they are divided into smaller care packages and shipped overseas. Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom McNeal was among a half-dozen faithful volunteers who gave Smith a hand Thursday – a task he has gladly taken on the past three years. SOUTH WHITTIER – As sheriff’s deputies helped load dozens of boxes of supplies destined for U.S. Marines in Iraq, Wanda Smith fondly recalled a recent e-mail she received from “a boy” stationed there. “He said, `Can you imagine how it feels to be so far away and be able to open up a package of Famous Amos cookies?”‘ said Smith, 73, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department volunteer, who has worked tirelessly over the past few years to collect and ship goodies and extra supplies to Marines in Iraq. That’s why she always makes sure the shipments include plenty of the popular cookies – and Rice Krispies treats, the Marines’ No. 1 favorite. Her shipments go from her home every spring and winter to Camp Pendleton as part of Operation Interdependence. last_img