Hefty postage bill could keep care packages for U.S. troops grounded


Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - David Dycus

PADUCAH, Ky. - The western Kentucky chapter of The Hugs Project sends about 200 care packages to U.S. service members fighting overseas every month. This time around, the boxes are packed, stacked, and almost ready to fly, but the price of postage could keep them grounded. It costs $11.30 to get each care package from Paducah to Afghanistan.

Gayron Ferguson is a master packer. "It's amazing how much stuff you can put in one of those boxes," he said. Every month, Ferguson and other volunteers with The Hugs Project send the troops a lot more than just snacks and toiletries. He said,  "Mostly what goes into the box is a lot of love and support for the guys, and that's what they need more than anything."

Delivering all of that comes along with a hefty postage bill, and right now, Ferguson only has about half of the money he needs to get the care packages off the ground. "That's our biggest need right now is to raise the funds to actually get them in the mail," he said.

The Hugs Project is completely run by volunteers, so almost 100 percent of the donations go straight to the troops. Ferguson said, "It's not me, and it's not the hugs project. It's the guys in the field carrying a rifle getting shot at every day. Those are the guys we're serving. This is our way of showing appreciation for what they do."

Aside from postage, The Hugs Project can also always use care package donations and volunteers to help the soldiers know they haven't been forgotten.