Maine Oxy hopes to send more care boxes to active military

Auburn-based Maine Oxy, a supplier of welding supplies and industrial gases, has set new goals for its program that puts together care package donations for active duty military in war zones.

The program, Maine Oxy Supports the Troops, began in 2004, but the company recently set a new goal of sending out 50 care packages a month. There are 13 corporate donation sites across New England, the company said in a Monday release.

With the recent announcement of the Iraqi withdrawal, many people assume that all the troops are coming home soon. We want to make sure people know that many troops are still being deployed and serving in war zones. These people need our help,” said Bob Smith, a retired member of the military and head of the M.O.S.T. program.

According to the company, the program began as an internal effort to send care packages to Maine Oxy own employees deployed in 2004. After seeing the impact of hand written letters, food and hygiene donations, Maine Oxy said, it decided to expand the program to collect and send donations to as many troops as they could.

From today’s release:

In the next few months, Maine Oxy plans to increase the amount of care packages shipped overseas by asking the community for small donations and asking local businesses to set up their own M.O.S.T. drop boxes. Last December, all 13 Maine Oxy locations and a group of partner businesses including Moody’s Collision Centers, Agren Appliance and Morgan Stanley Smith and Barney LLC, were able to send five shipments a month to those on deployed missions, helping hundreds of individual service men and women.

Maine Oxy said the impact of the program is evident through numerous emails the company receives from overseas troops, thanking the company for its efforts.

Again, from the release:

Staff Sergeant Matthew Hamilton shared the following after receiving a M.O.S.T. package:

“You guys may not realize how much it means to a soldier to have perfect strangers take the time out of their busy lives and put some thought into something for a service member. It could be something as small as saying thank you and it means the world to us. It is the main reason we as soldiers, marines, airmen, seaman have the drive to continue when times get rough and home seems a million miles away.”

If you are a local business and would like to host your own drop box, please contact: Maine Oxy customer service at 1-800-377-9433 or email M.O.S.T. drop boxes can be set up inside any store or local business that wants to partner with Maine Oxy. Donations to help pay for shipping costs are also welcome.

If you would like to help individual troops, please bring donations of the following to your nearest M.O.S.T. dropbox:

· Food (powdered drink mixes, nonperishable snacks, canned meats and pasta)

· Entertainment items (batteries, books/magazines, playing cards, pens, stationary)

· Supplies (wet wipes, eye drops, lip balm, toothpaste, feminine products, soap)

· Letters – a personal letter is the most powerful donation one person can make.

For information about where to find a drop box and specific items the troops need visit: Drop boxes are located in the following towns: Auburn, ME; Brewer, ME; Rockland, ME; South Portland, ME; Waterville, ME; Belmont, NH; Hooksett, NH; Hudson, NH; Lebanon, NH; Chicopee, MA; Milford, MA; South Windsor, CT; and Waterford, CT.