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Christmas Collections drive at military museum gives back to Arkansas veterans

JACKSONVILLE — DannaKay Duggar, director of the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, has a heart for giving to the people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

She’s giving back to veterans during the holidays with the help of her community through Christmas Collections for Veterans.

“We started this in 2008,” she said. “This will be our fifth year.”

Duggar said there is an extensive list of needs for patients in the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.

“[The long list] is not always in our favor because people get overwhelmed,” she said. “The main thing [the hospitals need] is basic clothing, such as T-shirts and socks. They really need large and extra-large sizes.”

When the program started, Duggar said, the items were given to the Little Rock

Veterans Home, but the home has since closed, and donations now go to the Veterans Health Administration System.

Duggar said she enjoys seeing the people who come into the museum to donate.

“It warms my heart to know there are people out there who feel the same way I do,” she said. “My mom is a retired VA nurse, and I have a very strong connection to the Veterans Administration Hospital.”

The weather and short Christmas shopping season have contributed to extending the deadline for giving items to Christmas Collections for Veterans, Duggar said.

“We’re taking donations through January to give people more time,” she said. “[Donors] can also get things at an after-Christmas sale.”

Feb. 1 is the deadline to donate to Christmas Collections for Veterans.

“It makes me feel good that there are other people

out there that care that much about our veterans,” Duggar said.

There are three locations where donors can drop off items for Christmas Collections for Veterans: the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, the Arkansas Flag and Banner Store in Little Rock and Mount Tabor Baptist Church in Cabot. For more information on the Christmas Collections for Veterans campaign, call the Jacksonville Museum of Military History at (501) 241-1943.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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List of needed items

The following new items can be donated to the Christmas Collections for Veterans campaign:

Used items will not be accepted.

Clothing:

• T-shirts (long & short sleeves)

• Sweatshirts

• Hoodie jackets (thick fleece/jersey)

• Sweatpants

• Lounge pants

• Tube socks

• Diabetic socks

• Boxers (sizes L-5XL)

• Slippers/house shoes (sizes 8-12)

• Velcro-strap tennis shoes (sizes 8-12)

• Gloves (large and extra large)

• Warm hats or baseball hats

• “Snuggies”

• Thick robes

Personal-care items:

• Shaving cream

• Double-edge razor blades

• Deodorant

• Body wash (no bar soap allowed)

• Shampoo

• Toothbrushes

• Toothpaste

• Tooth brush covers

• Cologne and body spray

• Nail files

• Manicure sets

• Hair clippers

• Electric razors with disposable heads

• Reading glasses

• Magnifying glasses

Entertainment:

• Playing cards (large print)

• Puzzle tray or carrier to hold puzzles

• Old classic movies on DVD such as The Quiet Man with John Wayne, and movies starring Carey Grant, Cagney, Cooper, Stewart, Karloff, Vincent Price, Cushing, Christopher Lee, Flynn, Three Stooges, Abbot & Costello, etc.

• Radios (no CD players)

• Coffee-table picture books

• Subscriptions to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

• Paints for activities

• Pocket calculators

Food:

• Coffee (regular and decaf)

• Coffee filters for Mr. Coffee machines

• Creamer and sugar packets

• Regular and sugar-free candy, cookies and snacks (nothing homemade)

• Sodas

• Chips

Other:

• Laundry detergent

• Quilts and bulletin boards (for patients’ rooms)

• Dry-erase boards (1 by 2 feet)

• Military pictures (all branches of service)

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