Winter 2017
Care-packages for the troops


The “J.F. Burns Loves the Troops Care Package Drive” is kicking off a new effort to help Kings High School graduates currently-deployed overseas.

The drive begins Monday, Feb. 13 and ends March 3. Volunteers are accepting donations anytime during school hours. A collection box located in the school’s main hallway is also available for after-hours donations.

The drive was launched six years ago by Hope Cantrall, the parent of a first-grader at J.F. Burns and son, Bartt Albarado, a 2009 KHS graduate, deployed to Kuwait with the Army Reserves.

Cantrall said she knew several other families at J.F. Burns with family members deployed. With the help of the PTO and Principal Cheryl Montag, the group launched the drive.  

“I talked to Mrs. Montag about sending care packages to help students feel like they were doing something to support their family members and classmates’ family members and to let the troops know that they weren’t forgotten,” said Cantrall. “In the past six years, we’ve expanded it to include KHS graduates and family members of Kings students deployed overseas.

“We include letters and pictures drawn by students in the care packages and each box is decorated on the inside with drawings from the students at JF Burns,” she said.

The drive started by sending out 27 care packages, and has grown to near 50 in recent years. Freedom Alliance now helps pay for postage, Cantrall said.carepkg1

The list of items eligible to be sent is long, and includes local favorites such as Skyline and Gold Star chili, crackers and hot sauce; LaRosa’s items such as spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce and salad dressing; Grippos or Husman’s potato chips snack size bags; Frisch’s Tartar Sauce; Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce; Buskin and Graeter’s cookies and treats; and Bengals, Reds, UC and Xavier memorabilia.

The drive is also accepting cereal bars, granola bars, pop tarts, powdered drink mixes, energy bars, tuna fish, non-perishable beef jerky, beef summer sausage (labeled USDA Beef only), snack cakes, cheese crackers, candy, gum, cookies, and salty snacks. You could also donate personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, cotton swabs, shaving lotion, disposable razors, shampoo, individually packages tissues, soap, and body wash.

Paperback books, current magazines, comic books, word games and puzzles, foam footballs, foam basketballs, frisbees, hacky sacks, playing cards, yo-yos, AA and D batteries, and large ziplock bags are also needed.

If you know anyone who is a KHS graduate and currently deployed, and you would like to add his or her name to the list of troops to receive a care package, please contact Cantrall at


By Alex Sackrider


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