Marlene Saens

Marlene Saens of the Support the Troops Club at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center surveys the materials she uses to make special cards that are included in all gift boxes sent to military service personnel overseas.

Ahwatukee residents who want to safely dispose of important but now useless documents and help the men and women who protect the nation have a chance to do both this week.

From 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, the Support the Troops Club at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center is holding its only fundraiser of the year to put together the money it needs to ship Christmas boxes it sends to troops overseas.

The shred-a-thon will be held at ARC parking lot at 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive, Ahwatukee.

Support the Troops’ normal fundraising has been shredded by the pandemic, so Saturday is a do-or-die effort for the annual Christmas box project. In the past the club has sometimes had to delay sending gifts because it couldn’t afford the shipping costs.

Support the Troops has been sending gift boxes to our troops twice a year for more than a decade.

Boxes are being prepared for Arizona National Guard troops currently stationed overseas.

Each box includes purchased items like individually wrapped snacks and treats, plus other useful things such as moist wipes and t-shirts or socks. Fun items like decks of cards, Frisbees or balls are added.

ARC’s other various clubs have contributed money as well as homemade crafts specifically made for the troops, such as Christmas stockings, hats, wreaths, and greeting cards. Volunteers gift wrap certain items as if they had been placed under a tree.

Once the items are ready to go, more volunteers gather to fill all 150 shipping boxes assembly line style. Then they are taken to the post office to be shipped overseas to the troops.

Club members hope people who have documents they would like to safely dispose of, bring them to the ARC parking lot where they will be shredded while they watch. 

Documents should be put in bags or banker-sized boxes in your trunk and the volunteers will take the boxes from the trunk and dump them into the paper shredder bin, returning the empty boxes to the trunk. 

The charge is just $3 per banker


For total “no contact” disposal, people may leave the payment in the trunk with the boxes full of documents to be shredded. 

Otherwise, they can pay a volunteer wearing a mask and gloves through the vehicle window.

Donations are not tax deductible.

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