An August 2019 fire that destroyed Operation Adopt A Soldier’s (OAAS) Wilton headquarters didn’t damage the all-volunteer group’s determination to restore its services to America’s soldiers.
OAAS today announced that four Hannaford stores in the southern Adirondacks are serving as collection sites for a month-long campaign to replenish OAAS’ inventory with donations from shoppers.
The collection bins are located behind the front-end cash registers. Shoppers can place their donations in the bins after checking out. A “wish list” of accepted items is posted on the bins.
The participating Hannaford locations are: 190 Quaker Road, Queensbury; 175 Broad St., Glens Falls; 3758 Burgoyne Ave., Hudson Falls; 27-41 Route 9, South Glens Falls.
“We are grateful to Hannaford for stepping up and assisting us in our mission to provide our brave soldiers with a little taste of home,” said Cliff Seguin, OAAS founder/co-chair. “OAAS only survives because of donations from our always-generous and caring public and business communities. It’s our never-ending mission to show everyone’s support for our military personnel serving in dangerous areas, far from home and family.”
The August 17, 2019 fire destroyed a multi-use structure on Route 50, Wilton, that included the OAAS office. Nearly all the group’s possessions – including 260 packed comfort kits awaiting Postal Service pickup – were destroyed. The structure has not been rebuilt.
Within days, OAAS relocated to a warehouse donated by Wilton businessman Richard Woodcock at 891 Saratoga Road (Route 9), Wilton. He’s also paying for the office utilities until OAAS finds a permanent home. Woodcock’s property is for sale or lease.
“Our volunteers were understandably shocked and devastated by the fire,” said Seguin. “But the public’s reaction to our misfortune was astounding and heartfelt. Donations poured in once everyone found out we had a temporary home, and we’ve been consistently sending the care packages ever since, except during the pandemic shutdown.”
OAAS accepts public donations at its Wilton office from 10 a.m. to noon each Thursday and Saturday, and by appointment for large-volume donations.
Meanwhile, the Chapman Museum at 348 Glen St., Glens Falls, continues to serve as an OAAS donation site while its reopening exhibit, “Let’s All Fight,” runs through September 20. The exhibit honors the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II with a display of WWII-era propaganda posters that detail stateside efforts to support America’s soldiers serving overseas. Museum officials noted OAAS’ modern-day services form a bridge to America’s efforts during the 1940s.
OAAS, an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 non-profit, uses product and monetary donations to fill comfort kits that are shipped to U.S. military personnel serving in areas of conflict. The kits are free; each box costs $12 to ship.
Acceptable items include non-perishable food, snacks, candy/gum, toiletries, energy bars/drinks, CDs/DVDs, stationery, paperback books, games, puzzle books, sports gear, over-the-counter health products and phone cards. A detailed list of items is posted on www.operationadoptasoldier.com
OAAS cannot ship perishable/refrigerated foods, aerosols, cologne/perfume, hardcover books, used clothing and alcohol.
Useful donations that cannot be shipped or don’t fit in the boxes are donated to area charities.