The 6th Annual CNMI Operation Homefront Support 2013 kicks off today and officer-in-charge Nola Hix wants the community to send as many updated addresses as possible of CNMI enlisted servicemen and women who are stationed around the world.
“We sent around 250 packages to the CNMI enlisted last year and we hope to do the same or more this year. We are excited and look forward to the community’s support as these efforts are something small but go a long way to show our military brothers and sisters we care,” said Hix.
CNMI Operation Homefront Support is a volunteer-led effort that sends out care packages to local soldiers deployed worldwide. It is held once a year, usually around Thanksgiving, to help alleviate some of the stress of deployment and “give thanks to our local brothers and sisters for the many freedoms we enjoy today.”
It was founded by Geri Willis, in partnership with the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter, and has grown over the years with the outreach of several individuals, local businesses, and the government.
“We are excited and look forward to the community’s support every year as these efforts are something small but go a long way to show our military brothers and sisters we care. To date we have sent out over 1,300 care packages during the past five years,” Hix said.
Care packages consist of letters of support from school children, newspapers, magazines, postcards, T-shirts, local favorite canned foods (Spam, Vienna sausage, Diamond tuna, and Ox & Palm corned beef), local favorite snacks (Coconut Chips, Rice Crackers, Dry Mango, Chicharon, Asparagus Biscuits, BinBin Crackers), and other items that are unique to the islands.
Last year, CNMI Operation Homefront added Saipan maps, CNMI flags, and imprinted “I Love Saipan” items to the lineup.
Hix said the new items were requested specifically by local troops so they may share the CNMI’s location and its delicacies with other foreign servicemen and women.
“We also hope to send local CDs with hits from our favorite local artists once more this year so they can share our island music. Over the years our local enlisted have expressed positive feedback when sharing these ‘little pieces of paradise’ with other enlisted personnel.”
Recipients of the care packages can be on reserve or active duty. Friends or family members can send in their addresses by calling 989-CNMI (2664) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’d like to thank the American Red Cross for their guidance and support, Ricky from Docomo Pacific TV for the ad, and James Nelson from Docomo Pacific for the email address and cell phone number,” said Hix.
Hix said community members could also drop by her office and pick up posters/fliers for schools and offices anytime this week. The Xerox Office is located in the Family Building in Garapan across Bank of Saipan and you can contact Hix via e-mail at email@example.com or call her at 989-NOLA (6652).