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Neighborhood Updates

2010 BluffParkAL.org - Photo by Kay OwensAbout our Banner

 

BluffParkAL.org, the Bluff Park, Alabama Neighborhood Web Site, was proud to spearhead Operation Adopt-a-Soldier on behalf of the Bluff Park community of Hoover, Alabama.  Our last shipment was sent on 5/21/11.  We will begin the program again when our adopted soldiers are deployed again.

Updates Here  Last Update 05/21/11 (One-Half Ton of Donations Shipped!!)      Visit our Facebook Page today

Here's a description of the program, as posted on the Bluff Park Forum:

Aug. 25, 2010: This web site and forum have always been "For, About, and By Bluff Park, Alabama". We're about to make an exception.


My son is a soldier in the 1-14 Infantry Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. Currently his company is deployed in Iraq, having arrived there in the beginning of July. They are part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which, as of Sept. 1 will turn into Operation New Dawn. As you may have been reading, our combat troops will convert to an "Advise and Assist" role as of that date. Based on what we're hearing from over there, there's still hostilities taking place. Their company will be there until July 2011, at which time they are supposed to return to Hawaii after having completed their mission. Since their arrival they have lost two of their men to hostile activities. They go out on patrol on a daily basis, sometimes more than once.

The guys over there are based in a location where they can't just run down to the local Wal Mart or the Super Target like we can. They rely on packages that are sent from family back home. Our soldier is blessed in that he has a lot of family and friends that send him those things that we take for granted, but they value like gold. Things like baby wipes, drink mixes, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, and other things that I'll list in a follow-up post.

One of the cool things about technology is that I'm able to talk to our soldier on an almost daily basis via Facebook and Skype. Not only does that bring peace of mind, but it also allows us to communicate and talk about everyday things. Today I told him that three more boxes were shipped to him yesterday. I then asked him if anyone there was not getting boxes like he was. Immediately he answered "Epp". Epp is his roommate from Hawaii. Apparently Epp doesn't have any family, so he doesn't get boxes like the rest do. Our soldier shares his things with Epp, but I'd like us to go a step further. I'd like the Bluff Park community to "adopt a soldier".

The Adopt-a-Soldier would work as follows: We would designate a central drop-off location where people could bring items. Nothing extravagant or expensive. A pack of baby wipes (they use that to cleanse themselves while out on missions - the temperature there is 146 degrees, they are wearing 55 lbs. of armor, and are carrying a 10-26 lb. weapon and ammo), a couple of boxes of single drink mix envelopes, a bag or two of gummy bears, toothpaste, etc. Again, I'll post a complete list in a follow-up post. And perhaps a dollar to cover shipping. If you want to add a personal touch to it, enclose a card with your name and address on it (and e-mail, as postal mail is not as easy for them as e-mail is). I would then send out boxes on a weekly basis to our adopted soldier to show him how much we appreciate what he is doing for our country.

We always say how much we appreciate our soldier's service to our country. Here's a chance to show it.
Printable List of Items that the Soldiers Could Use
(Requires Adobe Reader)

Does your group wish to become part of the Adopt-a-Soldier program?  Or do you own a business and wish to become an Official Adopt-a-Soldier drop-off location?  If so, send an e-mail to info@bluffparkal.org letting us know of your interest.

Don't have time to put something in a Drop-Off box?  Want to help with shipping costs?  Donate via PayPal by clicking on this button (donations will appear as BluffParkAL.org):

Any amount is appreciated!

You can also mail checks (made out to BluffParkAL.org) to:

BluffParkAL.org
Adopt-a-Soldier
 PO Box 26762
Hoover, AL  35260

Click here for Shipping Updates

Click here for the Birmingham News Story

After the initial forum entry on August 25, 2010, we received some positive feedback on the program from the community.  As always, the people of Bluff Park were ready and willing to help.  A few days later Fox 6 News called and wanted to do a story on the program, which they did.  Here's the story:

After the story ran, we received a number of calls, including calls from Hoover City Council member Gene Smith.  Mr. Smith wanted to get the city involved in some way, so he contacted Mayor Tony Petelos, who suggested that our collection boxes be placed in all of the City of Hoover fire stations.

We proceeded to purchase some sturdy containers to use as collection boxes, made our "official" Adopt-a-Soldier Drop Off Location signs, and distributed the containers.
Collection Boxes Preparing the boxes Finished collection boxes
Hoover Councilor Gene Smith, BluffParkAL.org's Robin and Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos Jason of Hoover Fitness Door sign at Hoover Fitness
Robert at Robert's Discount Pharmacy Keith at Moonlight on the Mountain Alford Avenue Veterinary Hospital
Bluff Park Elementary School Buffalo Wild Wings on Hwy. 150, Hoover Woodforest Bank inside Walmart 150 with 1st Donation
Hoover Fire Station 5 - Bluff Park Hoover Fire Station 2 - Patton Chapel Road Hoover Fire Station 4 - Municipal Drive
Hoover Fire Station 3 - Riverchase Parkway Hoover Fire Station 8 - Greystone Hoover Fire Station 6 - Edna Road
   
Hoover Fire Station 9 - Greystone    


The response has been tremendous.  The box at Robert's Discount Pharmacy filled up very quickly and the first shipment to our Adoptees went out on September 20th.  Although were were going to start with one soldier, we found out that there were three soldiers in my son's platoon that weren't receiving anything, so we expanded the program.  Many of you also enclosed personal messages with your contributions.  I'm sure this will mean a lot to the guys.  We also included a letter from all of the people in Bluff Park.
"Epp" at work in Iraq


We're asked when the program will end.  The answer is simple:  when they all come home.  So be sure to continue to put things in the collection boxes.  It doesn't have to be a lot.  Just one or two items.  You'd be surprised how collectively Bluff Park and Hoover can make a huge difference in the lives of these great soldiers.  And don't forget to drop in a dollar every once in a while with your contribution.  Our first shipment consisted of four large boxes, which cost us $50.00 for shipping. 

We're hoping that the embedded reporter in Iraq can cover the story on their end.  But if they can't we'll get a report from my son.

Thanks for helping out in this worthwhile cause and pray for these heroes fighting for our freedom.

About our Banner:  The banner we are using on the web site page shows the following logos and emblems:  The United States Army ; A map of Hawaii, which is where our adopted soldiers are based ; The 25th Infantry Division "Tropic Lightning" ; 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (renamed 2nd Stryker Brigade Advise and Assist Team by the president's orders on Sept. 1, 2010); 1-14th Infantry Battalion "Golden Dragons"; Alpha Company "Reapers" (no emblem, but that's their company).

The program can expand to other companies (there's Bravo, Charlie and Delta companies in the 1-14th Infantry Battalion), other Brigades as well, but for now will concentrate on these two soldiers.  We will post any remarks from them on both this page and on the Forum. 
We want to thank our Drop-Off Locations listed below.  At this time, Robert's Discount Pharmacy is the only location with a bin. 

All City of Hoover Fire Stations

Robert's Discount Pharmacy

Hoover Fitness

Moonlight on the Mountain

Bluff Park Elementary School (Led by the BPES Student Council)

Alford Avenue Veterinary Hospital

Buffalo Wild Wings, Hwy. 150, Hoover

Woodforest Bank, inside Walmart Hwy. 150

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