Volunteers collect care package items for local Guard unit

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After co-hosting a deployment dinner for local National Guardsmen in September, sisters Julie Beck and Carrie Jackson are reaching out to the community for items they can put in care packages bound for Africa.

The men of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion of the 144th Infantry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard left town Sept. 8.

Beck and Jackson are accepting contributions through Feb. 21, welcoming whatever gifts locals would like to send to the unit but with particular items in mind.

“Anything they would like to send the guys,” Beck said Monday. “We would appreciate things like lip balm, sunscreen and bug spray. They’re in Africa, and the bugs are voracious.”

Other recommended items include beef jerky, razors, gum, candy, newspapers and magazines.

For more information or to make a donation, contact the pair at their downtown Kilgore store, J&Co., at 903-984-1420.

Jackson and Beck have also been putting in time in the kitchen this week preparing for Thursday’s monthly BINGO fundraiser dinner benefiting the Rusk County Boys & Girls Club – Kilgore Unit.

The homemade meal at St. Paul's Episcopal Church is $12 per adult and $7 each for children 12-and-under. The sisters and other volunteers will begin serving homemade lasagna, green salad, oatmeal cake, brownies and more at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 followed by the BINGO game at 7 p.m.

Cards are $10 each or three for $20 with cash prizes up-for-grabs. All proceeds benefit the Harris Street youth outreach.

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