For the second time in six months, the Breakfast Exchange Club is challenging the community to help them gather supplies on Saturday for care packages to send to Montana soldiers overseas.
About 30 volunteers from the club, including members of its patriotism committee, members of the American Legion Post 4 and a handful of military-related groups will be at the Walmart stores in the Heights and on the West End from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to gather supplies from shoppers.
"Hopefully, people won't get tired of giving," said Paulette Bentz, the club's secretary and a member of the patriotism committee. "Because I know those troops aren't tired of fighting."
The most popular items for care packages include nonperishable food, toiletries and entertainment such as books and DVDs, Bentz said. However, anything helps.
"Last time, people got very creative with their donations," said Rod Ostermiller, chairman of the patriotism committee.
This year, they hope to send out at least 300 care packages, mostly to troops with the Montana U.S. Army Reserve's 592nd Ordinance Company.
The first drive, held in September 2010, gathered enough supplies, helped by $1,700 in cash donations, to send 272 care packages.
Ostermiller and Bentz both said the club hopes to hold such drives on a quarterly basis as Montana soldiers continue their overseas deployment.
"They keep fighting year-round and they still need these items year-round," Bentz said.
Volunteers will gather on April 17 to put the care packages together. Donations can be dropped off at American Legion Post 4, 1540 Broadwater Ave.
The Breakfast Exchange Club is a service organization that supports child abuse prevention and at-risk kids programs and promotes patriotism. It also sponsors the Healing Field each year and Veterans' Day at MontanaFair.