Employees of Continental Commercial Products stepped in to send gift parcels to make the holiday season brighter for 53 U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
``Even though my fingers hurt like crazy from all that wrapping, I thought it was important to do it. If I were away from home, I'd love to be able to open some presents. We need to make sure that our soldiers serving overseas know that we care about them,'' said Sue Hellige, a CCP customer service representative who spearheaded the drive.
Hellige said that the idea to help the soldiers came up when she saw an employee's request for people to add a Veterans Home resident to their personal Christmas card list.
She asked her colleagues if they would donate items to the troops and also went about collecting names of active duty military personnel that Continental employees knew.
``While none of them were members of our employees' immediate families, the list did include the nephew of one employee. The other 52 soldiers were mostly nephews of friends or friends of friends,'' she said.
In one week CCP employees shopped for and contributed almost 400 items. Overall, 19 boxes of gifts were shipped. They included books, peanut butter, Santa Claus hats, homemade candy and cookies, macaroni and cheese, razors, shampoo, cocoa mix, candy canes and toothpaste.
Hellige wrapped each item.
CCP, a unit of Katy Industries Inc. of Arlington, Va., makes maintenance and storage items for janitorial, food service and retail use.