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The drive for smiles

Military spouse and company lead the way

For the third year in a row, Maggie Connors of Edward Jones-DuPont, is leading the Military Care Package Supply Drive. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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For the third year in a row, the local community is invited to contribute to the Military Care Package Supply Drive.

Maggie Connors, a military spouse and financial advisor, is the energy behind the drive; the DuPont office of Edward Jones where she works is the sponsor.

"I have to say the moment where all the wheels started turning to create this event was during a conversation I had with my husband," Connors related.

He told her about how receiving a care package from a school and cards from the kids made his deployment easier.

"My husband still has the cards that kids from across the country sent him," she said, "and I wanted to do what I could to make sure that soldiers were getting something to make them smile while they were away."

During the past three years, Connors said she has felt humbled by the outpouring of support from the community for Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers and airmen.

"Having personally gone through the deployments from the military spouse side and feeling how isolating that can be, I know the feelings the community has for our servicemembers," she continued, "and that warms my heart."

The goal of this year's drive is to send enough care packages to 400 deployed servicemembers.

The care packages are composed of at least 10 items put into a one-gallon zip-lock bag. Connors said that small, individually wrapped items like protein bars, beef jerky, drink packets and candy are best.

As a final touch, a thank-you card is also placed into each bag.

Liquids, perishable items or homemade items (like cookies) cannot be sent. The donated items are packed in boxes that the United Services Organization (USO) requests Connors use for shipping. Once filled, the boxes are dropped off at the USO, which distributes them to deployed JBLM troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I am most thankful for the volunteers who work on the drive and for my branch manager, Chris Pontius," Connors said. "We have been completely humbled by the outpouring of community support, and to be able to bring a smile to a soldier's face means everything to me."

The third annual Military Care Package Supply Drive begins March 1. Donations can be dropped off at the Edward Jones office located at 1100 Station Dr., Suite 241, DuPont. For more information, call Connors at 253.912.4490 or email

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