The Faribault and Owatonna Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committees are combining efforts to provide care packages to soldiers stationed far from home.  These care packages are being shipped to the Horn of Africa where soldiers from the 2-135 partially based out of Faribault are deployed.

Faribault BTYR Committee Co-Chair, Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn and Sergeant Jacob Raleigh Readiness NCO of the Faribault unit recently told KDHL about their efforts.  Dunn says a request was made by a chaplain for the soldiers concerning requested items.  They are requesting no food be included but,

  • Disposable Razors,
  • Toothbrushes, Toothpaste
  • Mio Energy and Pedialyte Drink Packets
  • Whey Protein (individual packets)
  • Gym Equipment (bands, foam rollers, lacrosse balls, etc)
  • Financial Donations to cover shipping costs.

Dunn adds his Co-Chair is Randy Jackson a retired Deputy and they've been told the cost to ship the packages to Africa could cost up to $1,800.

I suggested the items could be transported on a C-130 Transport but Sergeant Raleigh says that's not allowed because it's not a "military transport."

Raleigh is a northeast Missouri native currently living in Lonsdale and related how much he enjoyed receiving these packages the two times he was stationed in the middle east.  The latest in 2009.

"I remember when we would get the care packages whether it was from a church or a community there would always be little notes or pictures.  Myself and Staff Sergeant Harmon who's retired now from here, we shared a room together in Iraq.  At the head of our beds on the wall any note or picture we got in the box we hung up on that so by the time we left we had our own wallpaper of notes and pictures from kids.  Actually I think I still have them in a folder in my garage in a tote.  I just kept them because you know, the thought and the time these kids put into it means a lot."

Dunn says donating items is easy.  You can drop them off at the Rice County Sheriff's Office, 118 NW 3rd Street, Faribault or the Steele County Sheriff's Office, 204 East Pearl Street, Owatonna.

"We ask that you try to drop them off between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. because those are our regular business hours.  If for some reason you can't make during those hours I will have a box in our 24 hour lobby that we will check every morning."

If you don't want to take the time to shop for the items monetary donations are also needed.  Dunn adds make your checks payable to the Faribault Beyond the Yellow Ribbon or shorten it to Faribault BTYR.  Owatonna would of course be the Owatonna BTYR.

More information about the Owatonna effort can be obtained by contacting Sarah Frazier at 507-213-6891 or btyrowatonna@gmail.com.

You can also contact Dunn at tdunn@co.rice.mn.us or by phoning 507-332-6034.

The goal is 900 packs.  Dunn says, "We are told if we get anything over 900 packs they will donate some of these things to orphanages in Africa."

Raleigh adds, "That's huge.  We know as soldiers, no matter where we're at it's not just about us.  It's about the community.  It's about the people living in that community.  With them donating whatever they have extra to the community that just goes to show you that the soldiers don't just think about themselves.  It's more about what we can do to help the individual person."