Picayune supports Unit 857

Published 2:41 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vietnam Veteran, Paul Byrd and Christy Goss, with the City of Picayune, are issuing a call to all civic groups and churches to join them in a coordinated effort in collecting non-perishables to support the Picayune National Guard Unit 857.

As a member of First United Methodist Church, Byrd handles collection and distribution of items requested by deployed local servicemen and women.

“The Picayune Guard #857 is a pretty good size unit. Most churches and organizations are effected by this latest deployment. They either are related to or know someone deployed from that unit.

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“If we can coordinate our efforts and work through a few centralized drop sites, such as the Intermodal Transportation and Tourism Center, we will benefit by: Increased participation— community members who may not be participating in a program can now have a convenient place to drop items off, and the convenience and organization that comes with centralized efforts,” said Byrd.

The group is looking for items to ship that are non-perishable and highly desirable to the deployed soldiers. Items such as: Granola bars, hard candy, Life Savers, Jolly Ranchers, beef jerky and Poptarts. They are also looking for water additive packets such as Crystal Light. In addition to the comfort foods, the deployed are asking for magazines,  and recreational items. iTunes / Kindle / Nook cards, newspapers from home and video games are the most requested in that category.

Byrd said that the shipping cost per package is approximately $12.

“We have 140 men and women who were deployed from our unit and the $12 per package can add up. So, if someone wants to drop off a monetary donation, the Intermodal will be equipped to handle it. The funds will go for shipping, supplies and items for soldiers, as well as symbolic gestures throughout the community to show our support for not only the deployed but their families at home as well,” said Goss. “We encourage everyone to look for Soldier Support Stations at the Backyard BBQ, Street Fair and Christmas on the Rails. All events will have places to leave donations.”

For more information, contact Goss at 601-798-9079.