MILAN A local business and area-wide agency are making sure the men and women of the armed forces are not forgotten this holiday season.
First, the Tranquility Salon & Spa, located On the Square in Milan, has started the "Cuts for Calls Home" program.
"From Dec. 1 through Dec. 24, a portion of the proceeds from haircuts will go toward buying calling cards," said Shannon Dyer, an employee of the salon and spa.
"The USO (United Service Organization) will then see that the calling cards get to troops so they can call home for Christmas," Dyer added.
The salon and spa is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The salon also is serving as a USO drop-off point for many items the troops need.
Things the troops need include food items such as cup of soup, cookies, popcorn, beef jerky, dry cereal, peanut butter and jelly, candy, gum, granola bars and powder drink mix.
The troops also can use morale boosters like disposable cameras, sunglasses, word puzzle books, travel-size games, calendars, books, pictures and stationary, including pens and envelopes.
Personal hygiene items such as baby wipes, Kleenex, eye drops, hand lotion, cough drops, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, combs, brushes, shaving cream, disposable razors, feminine products and powder will also help the troops.
Finally, necessities like bug lotion, Zip lock bags, Laundromat-size laundry soap, fly strips/swatters, dryer sheets and air fresheners can be donated.
Those shopping for troops are reminded the service members only have pockets and backpacks to keep their possessions in.
Wrapping paper can also be donated, as it is greatly needed.
Dyer also said it's important to donate quickly, because packages can take up to a month to reach troops.
Call (419) 499-4177 or (800) 503-8766 for more information on these programs.