Archive for Thursday, June 23, 2005

PRIDE project to help military

June 23, 2005

National reports surfaced this week that some GOP members believe the war in Iraq may last another two years. And the Basehor PRIDE organization, a civic-minded group, wants to lend support to the troops overseas -- no matter how long they may be there -- and to soldiers' families.

This week, members of Basehor PRIDE are beginning a service project to lend financial aid to the families of area soldiers.The project is coordinated through an Army Community Services program implemented by officials at Fort Leavenworth Army base.

The PRIDE project has been dubbed "Basehor Supports Our Military Families." The phrase doubles as the theme of this year's annual Fourth of July celebration,

"As a special project this year, PRIDE is going to collect donations for military families," PRIDE spokesperson Chuck Wilderson said. "We want to assist as many families as we can."

PRIDE members forged the idea to assist families with loved ones serving overseas, and PRIDE volunteer Donna Thomas ran with the idea by asking Fort Leavenworth officials about ways the local group could help.

"One reason we're doing this is activated guard and reservists take a big cut in pay when they're activated, and that leaves the families strapped for money," Thomas said. "This was one way we decided to provide very essential help to these local families in the area."

Beginning this week, PRIDE members will place jars at numerous businesses around town for residents to deposit donations. The organization will also accept donations during the Fourth of July celebration.

"We're hoping to get it kicked off this week with a big push coming in the weeks after," Wilderson said.

Thomas said, often times, the families of loved ones serving overseas are forgotten. The PRIDE program will donate money to families, which will be converted to gift cards or vouchers at area grocery stores. That way, Thomas said, families can choose for themselves what they need most.

"It provides what each family needs," she said. "What each family needs are different."

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