Packing of the gift boxes will take place the week after the Shred-A-Thon. In prior years ARC’s Main Hall was filled with tables of gift items from which volunteers filled gift boxes assembly line style. This year skeleton crews will work with masks and gloves performing the same task.

The pandemic has made times tough for many people, but they’re not nearly as tough as what many men and women in the Armed Forces endure, especially those in harm’s way.

That’s why the Support the Troops Club at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center is going forward with its only fundraiser for the Christmas boxes it sends to troops overseas annually.

From 9-11 a.m. Nov. 14, it will hold a Shred-A-Thon in the ARC parking lot at 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive.

“Support the Troops has not been able to do their normal fundraising activities because of the COVID-19 restrictions, so this will be their only fundraiser for the Christmas boxes they will be sending,” said Ed Doney, an active member of ARC.

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

In November, boxes are being prepared to go to 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.

For the Christmas boxes, ARC clubs have contributed monetary donations 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.

That’s where the Shred-a-thon comes in.

To pay for shipping costs and some of the purchased items, they need to raise money. 

In the past the club has sometimes had to delay sending gifts because it couldn’t afford the shipping costs.

With the limitation of group activities due to COVID-19, the club’s other fund-raising activities have had to be canceled.  

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 you 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 sized-box. 

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 since ARC is a non-profit HOA, not a 501(c)(3) charity.

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