Red Cross suspends package collection for soldiers

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, April 2, 2003

By Staff
KALAMAZOO -- Thanks to the overwhelming response of generous Americans nationwide, the American Red Cross now has nearly four months worth of Quality of Life packages awaiting shipment to members of the U.S. armed forces stationed in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The Quality of Life program allows individuals and organizations to send toiletries, snacks, books, music and other "tastes of home" to service members.
Due to the tremendous number of pending shipments, the American Red Cross is temporarily suspending Quality of Life program collections.
The Greater Kalamazoo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross cannot accept any additional Quality of Life donations until Red Cross headquarters opens the collection process once again.
Persons or groups who have already made arrangements with the Greater Kalamazoo Area Chapter may deliver their items as planned. Any individuals or groups who have not already been in contact with the Chapter should not bring Quality of Life items to the office until the Chapter can open up the local collection process again.
Items that already have been delivered to the Chapter office will be shipped as soon as the Chapter receives the necessary address instructions from the Quality of Life program coordinators.
While waiting for the Quality of Life program collections process to reopen, there are several other ways that individuals and organizations can show their support for U.S. service members and their families.
What You Can Do
There are nearly two dozen public blood drives scheduled throughout the Greater Kalamazoo Area Chapter's four-county service area in April, including one in Niles on April 30 at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Niles (see Page One of today's paper).
Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health. Most of the blood drives do not require pre-appointments, though the drives at some locations are by appointment only. The Chapter's blood drive schedule is available on line at Call the Chapter at (269) 353-6180 or (800) 382-6382 for more information or to make an appointment.