We told you about this amazing young woman named Michelle Lombardi last year because of the amazing work that she does and now she is back to do even more.

Michelle is a 4th grade Elementary School Teacher at Cecil S. Collins School in Barnegat and is looking to make a difference for our troops.

Michelle and her boyfriend who was deployed

Four years ago, her boyfriend was deployed and as a result she wrote the song titled "Christmas in Camouflage." She ultimately decided to take matters into her own hands by putting together care packages for the men and women who fight to protect our country every single day.

And thus, The Christmas in Camouflage Project was born.

Last year, enough donations were made for Michelle to put together 85 care packages for our troops and now she has one goal: to gather enough to send over 100 packages to outdo last year!

And good news -- getting involved is simple! You just need to contact Michelle herself at (609) 618-3564 or Milombardi@barnegatschools.com. 

OR you can drop off donations at Cecil S Collins Elementary School located at 570 Barnegat Blvd.

Miss Lombardi and her students will be collecting items from October 25th to November 25th so get those donations in!

And this one sentence explains the goal of the 'Christmas in Camouflage' Care Pckage Collection: "Each and every donation will contribute to the needs of our brave U.S. soldiers and help them feel a little bit closer to home during this holiday season." 

Take a look at the suggested items that would you should (and shouldn't) donate:

Food and Drink:

  • Powdered drink mix- tea bags, Mio, hot chocolate mix, etc.
  • Meal enhancers- seasoning, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce, etc.
  • Protein- energy bars, tuna fish, beef jerky, protein powder
  • Snacks- small/hard containers of chips, pretzels, nuts, snack cakes, cheese crackers, cookies, etc. (avoid bags that may burst under pressure)
  • Candy and Gum- avoid chocolate because of melting.

Personal Care and Clothing:

***Choose small, travel-size containers of personal care products, and avoid aerosol cans. To keep liquids from spilling, cover the opening of the container with plastic wrap, then recap before shipping. ***

  • Toiletries- toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, cotton swabs, shaving lotion, disposable razors, shampoo, individually packaged tissues, etc.
  • Personal care- individually packaged baby wipes, eye drops, lip balm, lotion, Asprin and other pain reliever, foot powder, etc.
  • Disposable hand-warmers
  • Goggle-style sunglasses
  • Cotton socks and underwear

Entertainment and Communication:

  • Reading material- paperback books, current magazines, comic books
  • Word games and puzzles- crossword puzzles, word searches, jigsaw puzzles
  • Games- foam footballs and basketballs, frisbrees, hacky sacks, playing cards, yo-yos
  • Electronics- portable DVD player, CD player, DVDs, CDs, handheld electronic games
  • Batteries- size AA and D batteries are high in demand. If you're sending a battery-operated device, such as a CD player, remove the batteries so the appliance doesn't accidentally turn on during shipment.
  • Disposable camera
  • Writing material- notepaper, envelopes, pens, pencils, stamps

Reminders of Home:

  • Letters and artwork
  • Local newspaper articles
  • Homemade goodies- cookies, brownies. Pack these in an airtight container.

What NOT to send:

  • Glass or other fragile items
  • pork or pork by-products
  • obscene materials, political materials, religious

A humongous shout out goes to The American Legion of Barnegat who has helped Michelle a tremendous amount over the years to make this program happen, including picking up all of the packages and shipping them out once they are finished.

Let's help Michelle reach her goal of sending out AT LEAST 100 care packages this season to show thanks to our troops.

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