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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Firefighters Initiative - Helping Hearts for Troops

A team of Prince George’s County Firefighter/Medics are coordinating an effort that is sure to make our troop’s holidays a little brighter. Helping Hearts for Troops are collecting items for care packages that will be delivered to our troops overseas. The Firefighter/Medics are looking forward to a successful campaign with everyone’s cooperation and generosity for the men and women serving our country. The Fire/EMS Team is working with the USO of Fort Meade to assist in delivering the Holiday Care Packages. The Helping Hearts for Troops are looking for item donations, such as toiletries, non-perishable food items and new, unwrapped, clothing, board games, CD’s, and DVD’s (a list of suggested items is below).

Prince George’s County Fire Fighter/Medic Nicole Hardman is coordinating the effort and stated, “Care packages made and delivered over the next few months will not only put a smile on the faces of these men and women but will let them know how much they are loved and appreciated for everything they have and continue do for us. By supporting our cause you are touching the lives of so many people.”

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones commented, “I fully support the initiative of Nicole and her team in supporting our troops. I’m confident that this effort will bring an immense sense of pride to everyone involved.”

Queen Waddell, USO Coordinator at Fort Meade, stated, “The small, ubiquitous items, people often take for granted can have an uplifting impact on the lives of our service men and women serving so far away from home. Helping Hearts for Troops goal is to provide a bit of respite and respect for our service men and women by sending some of the missing comforts of home wrapped in a personalized care package in the field or a deployment care package while on their way. It’s a small act that shows our appreciation and support for those making such a huge sacrifice every day.”

Starting on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, citizens and residents may drop off donated items to any community-based Fire/EMS Station in Prince George’s County. This effort will continue until mid-December, 2010. If a local business would like to offer a spot for a donation box or to make a donation contact Nicole Hardman at 240-417-5168 or nsolo2329@comcast.net and Katie Fisher at katiepfisher@gmail.com.

Suggested list of items to donate:



• COFFEE (Ground or whole; instant or drip. Ground is preferred)

• POWDER DRINK MIX (Gatorade, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light)


• TUNA & CHICKEN SALAD (in foil pouches, or ready-to-eat kits (no cans)


• CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS accepted from OCTOBER through April (it will melt in high temperatures!)

• Hot Chocolate packets, Herbal teas

• Hard Pretzels / Cheetos / Fritos / Chex Mix / Wheat Thins / Ritz

• Gum / Hard Candy (must be individually wrapped in large bags)

• Granola Bars / Power Bars / Cereal Bars / Cliff Bars

• Fig Newtons, Oreos, Cheese & Crackers - Small Packs

• Trail Mix, Dried Fruit, Granola, Fruit Roll-Ups / Fruit By The Foot / Fruit Gummies

• DRY SOUP: (Ramen Noodles / Cup-O-Soup: just add water)

• NUTS: Peanuts, Mixed Nuts (salted preferred)

• MICROWAVE FOOD (Popcorn, Chef-Boy-R-Dee, Mac'n'Cheese...)

• COOKIES / Girl Scout Cookies (with chocolate: Oct. - Feb. only!)

• Rice Krispie Treats (Store-bought only)

• Little Debbies® & Hostess® cake products

• Oatmeal Packs (Instant: just add water)

• Cereal (Small, individual boxes)

• Condiments, Spices; Sugar; Salad Dressing (no glass jars)

• Caffeinated gum or candy (to stay alert)


(Note: Some troops have allergies & need Brand Name toiletries which list all ingredients. The military issues toiletries to our troops, however troops often miss their favorite brand of shampoo or soap. Our goal is to send troops reminders of home & items they miss ... not free samples.)

• BABY WIPES (travel size)

• HAND SANITIZER (travel size)

• Body Wash, Liquid Soap, Facial Cleanser

• Shampoo /Conditioner (travel size)

• Hair Gel (for female troops to pull hair back)

• Combs / Brushes / Bobby Pins (in original packaging, please)

• Deodorant (travel size)

• Razors (disposable or "Intuition" or "Mach 3" types)

• Shaving Cream in Tubes / Shaving Soap (No CANS of Shaving Cream, please!)

• Lip balm / Chap Stick / Carmex / Blistex

• Baby Powder & Foot Powder (travel size)

• Tissues (individual packs; travel size only)

• Hand & Body Lotion / Moisturizer (travel size)

• Sunblock, SPF 45, Zinc, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera Gel

• Bug Spray / DEET / Skin-So-Soft

• Mouthwash (travel size)

• Toothpaste & Toothbrushes & Dental Floss

• Breath Mints / Breath Strips

• Lozenges / Cough Drops

• Loufa Sponges / Buff Puffs / Washcloths

• Nail files / Emery Boards / Nail Clippers

• Feminine Hygiene Products

• Cotton Swabs (i.e. Q-tips) - also used to clean guns!

• Cotton Balls

• Band-aids, Gauze Pads, First Aid Kits / Ace bandages, Icy Hot or Bengay cream

• Moleskin

• Shoe Insole Cushions (gel kind is best)

• Tylenol, Motrin, Advil or Aspirin Packets

• Eye Drops (i.e. Visine)

• Nasal Spray

• Vitamins (multi-vitamins are always needed!)


• BATTERIES: (AA, AAA, C & 9 Volt are the most requested)

• DVD Movies (new or used - recent releases only, please!)

• Xbox Games, PSP, PS2 & PS3 Games (new or used)

• iTunes® Gift Cards

• 35 mm disposable cameras

• Computer Flash Drives & Thumb Drives

• Portable CD players / head phones

• Electronic handheld games

• Small homemade gifts - reminders & comforts of "home"

• Small photographs or posters of scenery for their tents & walls

• Pens & mechanical pencils, small note pads

• Stationery & Envelopes; blank cards to send home

• Double-sided tape, small crafts kits, scrap-booking items

• Day planners / Calendars / Small, Pocket Calendars

• Game Books: (Crossword Puzzles / Word Search Books / Math Puzzle books / MAD LIBS / Logic Problems / Sudoku)

• Yo-Yo's, Dominoes, Playing Cards (new), Poker Chips & Mats, Dice

• Board games (UNO, Othello, Checkers - travel size is great, too!)

• Dart Boards (regular or magnetic - any size)

• Nerf Footballs / Whiffle bats, balls & Mitts / Sports equipment

• Frisbees / Hackey sacks

• Music CDs, Magazines & Books (Accepted ONLY at our NORTH CAROLINA BRANCH)


• LINENS: Pillow cases, twin sheets, towels (green & tan)

• T-SHIRTS: Cotton green & tan under shirts - new (Sizes: M, L & XL)

[Note: The DOD banned "Under-Armor" shirts due to its material being potentially flammable & bad reactions to open wounds.]


• FLASHLIGHTS - SMALL (battery operated. Surefire Brand preferred)

• AIR FRESHENERS (standalone-not plug-in. Car types are also good)

• SOCKS: Black, Olive Green & White (cotton or wool)

• PHONE CARDS - Pre-Paid (Click HERE for Where to Buy and What Types of Phone Cards to Buy from Third-Party Vendors)

• Gift Cards to send home to loved ones (for Restaurants, Supermarkets)

• Small toys (Beanie babies) & school supplies for Iraqi & Afghan children

• Patriotic knick-knacks, USA flags, flags from your state, bandanas, baseball hats, football jerseys, banners to tack on their walls or tents.

• Black or Green duct tape, small tool kits, dust masks, carpentry tools, Fly swatters, fly paper, mosquito netting, bug repellent in plastic pump bottles only (NO AEROSOL CANS, PLEASE!)

• Paint brushes, adhesive wall hooks

• Gun cleaning supplies (lube) such as Militec-1 & CLP

• Generic sunglasses (Ballistic, black only. No "mirror" types)

• Alarm Clocks (Small in size; wind-up or battery-operated)

• Small, portable heaters & fans (110 voltage okay)

• Fleece Blankets (Yes, it gets very cold in the winter over there!!)

• Disposable Hand warmers and Foot warmers (in the wintertime)

• Winter Hats (Yes, it snows in the winter over there! Hand knitted hats in black, tan or green are always welcome!)

• Water Bottles, Travel Mugs & Thermoses with Lids, (for Coffee, Tea & Soup)

• Coffee Makers & Filters (110 voltage okay)

• Coffee Bean Grinders - small (electric or battery-operated)

• Microwave Ovens (55 pounds max; 110 voltage okay)

• Hot Pots - Small

• Elixir & Water Purification Tablets for Camelbaks

• Combat Application Tourniquets (black only)

• Religious booklets, small bibles, inspirational readings

• Holiday and Seasonal Decorations - see our PROGRAMS PAGE for details

• K-9 items:

Dog treats, toys, shampoo, flea collars, etc.

(Note: CLICK HERE to see our restrictions and guidelines if you wish to donate items to the dogs. Thank you.)

Fire Fighter/Medic Nicole Hardman and the crew from Northview Fire/EMS Station #816 in Bowie construct the donation box to be placed in the station. (BRADY)

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