TIOGA COUNTY, N.Y. - As a project of area churches, troops serving in Iraq have received boxes filled with items donated through various avenues.

At the Historic First Baptist Church of Owego, in which Rev. G. Terry Steenberg is Pastor, the congregation offered a Christmas in August for our troops in 120-degree Mosul, northern Iraq. Through generous donations from the church's congregation, and the assistance of Linda Barrett and her team from the Owego VFW Post 1371 Ladies Auxiliary who mailed the boxes of support, items were successfully delivered to Army Chaplain Captain Father Father Pat VanDurmie for distribution in the Mosul area.

Father Pat has also received packages from Julie Durand's Vacation Bible School Class from St. John's in Newark Valley. He wrote an e-mail recently stating that the boxes from home were greatly appreciated by the troops. Father Pat said in the e-mail, "Do your best ... send me what you can ... and remember you are sending love in the box ... and that is the most important thing."

Respiratory Therapist Claudia Briggs also received items from members of the Respiratory Therapy and Pulmonary Function Departments at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pa. Money collected for postage went to purchase a troop favorite - Little Debbie cakes.

The Owego VFW Post 1371 paid the postage for shipping, and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary coordinator, Linda Barrett, and her team send the most important thing - love from home. These boxes are mailed to Army Chaplain Captain Father Patrick Van Durme who travels by helicopter to remote areas to distribute these special items from home.

By mid-September, troops stationed near Mosul, Northern Iraq, will receive the boxes of support from Briggs' group, and all the people at home who love them.