JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – To celebrate the 245th anniversary of the American flag being the official symbol of the United States, News4JAX called on local communities to celebrate and show their Positively JAX spirit.
More than 100 people donated enough snacks and toiletry items to fill up 13 moving boxes that will help stock the local USO at the Jacksonville International Airport and received a free American flag for their efforts.
Brandie Campbell is the Hospitality Chairperson for the Fairways Forest Civic Association in her neighborhood. She picked up flags for several of her neighbors who needed new Stars and Stripes to fly in front of their homes.
“I try to keep all my homes beautiful with flags flying,” Campbell said.
“It meant more for me to bring snacks for the USO,” Melanie Gardner said.
One of the donators who picked up a free flag while leaving a bag full of items for the USO said, “I fly my flag every day. I’m proud to be an American. Freedom. I love it. So many people wish they were here.”
The food and toiletries donated to the USO Welcome Center at the Jacksonville International Airport support America’s military members who pass through or come home to Jacksonville.
“We try to be very patriotic in our neighborhood. We have a very big veteran population in our neighborhood. We’re close to Mayport, so we try to make sure everybody is recognized,” Campbell said.
Brothers Connor and Grayson stopped by with their mom and were excited about getting Old Glory.
“I like the colors,” Grayson said. When asked what the colors are they both shouted, “Red, white and blue!”
They even aced a quiz on the spot from one of our staffers.
“How many stars are on the flag?” “50.” “What do the stars stand for?” “The states.” “That’s right!”
No matter the reason, many agree recognizing the 245-year-old American symbol is vital, especially during this milestone year.
It was June 14, 1777, when the Second Continental Congress made a resolution that denoted the 13 red and white alternating stripes and 13 stars in a circular pattern on a blue background as the national banner. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day, and on Aug. 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.
If you’d like to donate to the USO at any time, check out their website here.
Recommended Snack & Toiletry Items for USO:
Note: brands are not important. We do not endorse any product! All products are single-serving unless noted:
- Granola bars, all types and flavors of them
- Apple sauce 6 pack of favors. For example, apple with mango, peach, etc.
- Snack fruit pack
- 10 oz. Cran-Apple juice and other assorted juice in single servings
- Kool-Aid singles (mixable with single bottled water)
- Country Time “On the Go” (mixable with single bottled water)
- Macaroni and Cheese (singles ready to eat just add water)
- Cheez It (Small singles)
- Cookies, 100 calorie snacks (no packages or boxes of large amounts)
- Cheese and crackers (all sorts of flavors will work)
- Cup of soup ONLY! (Ramen) noodles, all flavors
- Instant oatmeal variety pack
- Crystal Light iced tea (all flavors)
- Trail Mix (small individual packets)
- Raisins in small boxes (white raisins also)
- Chicken or tuna ready-to-eat snacks with crackers in the package. They are also called “Lunch Kits”
- Toothpaste (small tube)
- Wet wipes (feminine too)
- Deodorant (roll-on/stick)
- Disposable razors
- Shaving cream
- Female supplies
- Hand sanitizers
- Lubricating eye drops
- Lip balm
- Waterless hand cleaner