A local group is collecting items to send as holiday care packages for soldiers overseas.
Operation Harpo’s Cause was started 27 years ago during the Gulf War, said Mike Porter, a former Marine. He served 13 months overseas as a helicopter crew chief.
“It wasn’t very popular back when I was in,” he said. “We weren’t treated the best and I thought, ‘That will never happen again.’”
So the group formed to send care packages to soldiers away from home during the holidays.
“I remember what it was like to be overseas as a young Marine and those care packages were so well received,” Porter said.“A care package from my local church and of course a bunch of hungry buddies looking over my shoulder, more than willing to help me share it.”
Care packages have changed since Porter’s time in service, he said.
“It’s mainly comfort foods,” he said. “It’s amazing how it’s changed over the years. It used to be we’d send them stationary and envelopes.”
In its first year of service, Harpo’s Cause sent 150 care packages. Each year is different, Porter said, and one year they only had three.
This year they are sending items to troops in Kosovo, Kuwait and Texas.
Shipping items can be expensive and Porter said he’s thankful for sponsor Mid-Ohio Harley Davidson.
“In some cases we could not get this done without them … the postage was outrageous,” he said.
If you would like to help donate, help package the items or to sign up service members to receive care packages, please contact Mid-Ohio Harley Davidson at 937-322-3590.