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Final Treat the Troops event of 2016 on Thursday in Cumming
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CUMMING -- Anyone wishing to start off the holiday season by supporting those serving overseas has one last chance to do so through the local Treat the Troops group.

The final packing event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the VFW Post 9143 at 1045 Dahlonega Highway in Cumming, and the public is encouraged to help pack homemade baked good and supplies for troops overseas.

“We are going to help make Thanksgiving brighter for all our troops. Sure who doesn’t like pumpkin pie? But a homemade cookie?” said Linda Jones, with the group.

Treat the Troops holds packing events every other month. Last November, they shipped 425 boxes filled 51,246 homemade cookies and hundreds of pounds of other items, Jones said.

“This November, we may do over 500 boxes,” she said. “If we are fortunate enough to pack more, that would be wonderful. We have enough requests where we could easily ship 700.”

Residents are asked to bring cookies packed in groups of six in a sandwich bag, labeled if they contain nuts. Leftover Halloween candy is also welcomed.

Travel-size toiletries, letters of appreciation and blank cards with envelopes for their use, as well as unbreakable Christmas ornaments will also be shipped.

A Santa hat and stocking will be included in each box.

“If baking isn’t your thing and you can’t get to the store to purchase the other filler items, you can always donate money for postage,” Jones said. “Each box costs $16.75 to ship. If we do ship close to 500, that is a huge postage bill.”

She said tax deduction forms are available.