Cougar Community Gives Back

Dec. 16, 2011

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - SIUE Athletics and Cougar fans together collected more than 500 items in a recent drive to support USO of Missouri, Inc. The items will help support the organization's Holiday Block Leave in its service to more than 5,000 military personnel who will travel home for the holidays from Ft. Leonard Wood via Lambert-St. Louis Airport.

Nonperishable food items and personal care items, including paper products, toiletries, and various home goods, as well as Cougar Athletics apparel were donated.

"These are all younger military personnel," USO of Missouri, Inc. Director of Special Events and Communication Sara Colvin said. "They have been in the military anywhere from one week to one year. They are always so appreciative of the things they get."

Colvin said it is important to note that the donations will be helping locally.

"Everything we get stays here," she said. "It's great when we can touch our own community."

Colvin also noted the donations will help support all branches of the U.S. military.

"Ft. Leonard Wood is the largest joint services training facility in the United States," Colvin said. "So members from all five branches of the military train there."

The donations were collected over a week-long period which included three home basketball games.

More information on the USO of Missouri, Inc.:

The USO of Missouri, Inc.'s mission is to lift the spirits of America's troops and their families by providing a "touch of home" through our facilities, a shoulder when needed, and fun family events. The USO of Missouri, Inc. is a civilian, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization receiving no government, military, or United Way funding and is not a part of the Department of Defense. The USO of Missouri, Inc. relies entirely on the support and generosity of the American people to serve our troops each and every day. Since its inception in 1981, over 4.1 million military and their families have benefited from the services provided by the USO of Missouri, Inc. The USO of Missouri, Inc. provides services to the entire state of Missouri and Southern Illinois.

More information about the USO of Missouri, Inc., and contact information for the USO of Missouri, Inc., can be found online at www.usomissouri.org.