Sending troops bundles of holiday cheer

$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Nancy Evanson has boxes of unused Christmas cards ready to send to troops overseas.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$ Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Nancy Evanson has boxes of unused Christmas cards ready to send to troops overseas.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$

Unfortunately, formal letters are a thing of the past. Personalized statements get tossed aside in favor of texting, email and Facebook status updates.

One local business owner finds the traditional postal route the best way to give thanks and appreciation.

Nancy Evanson, owner of Mane Shipping on Main Street in Cortez, sends boxes of goodies every year to our troops overseas. She sent her first packages in 2009. Mostly filled with unused greeting cards she’s collected over the years, Evanson compiles these gifts for soldiers to use and send back to their families.

“They don’t have access to greeting cards and those kinds of personal items to send to their families during special occasions,” Evanson says. “I think it’s a nice way to give to our troops.”

Evanson’s son was in the Marine Corps when she first had the idea. She was employed at the Mail Room in Cortez, when a Girl Scout came in. She immediately thought about her son, and the things he left behind that we civilians take for granted in our everyday lives. Like those delectable Girl Scout cookies.

“$500 later, I was sending boxes of Girl Scout cookies to Iraq,” Evanson says.

Evanson sees this opportunity as a way to show appreciation to the troops. No matter what side of the fence we are on, she says it’s all about supporting members of the military.

She receives donations from the community, packs them up in boxes and sends them out when they are full. A family who regularly donates, gives toothbrushes and other items of necessity. Evanson herself will find useful items from Family Dollar or will throw in candy and snacks, to fill any empty spaces.

“If I’m going to send something, I don’t want it to be half full,” Evanson says.

Her son is no longer stationed overseas but Evanson has continued to send her boxes of goodies to whomever she can. A Mane Shipping customer has a daughter serving in Afghanistan, and Evanson made sure to send her a package.

Evanson admits that the modern era of communication is taking over but she’s unflinching in her goal.

“My son told me, ‘No one writes anymore’ and I said ‘I don’t care.’ Mothers like to get Christmas cards,” she says.

Evanson began this quest in November of 2009. Just one month later, she mailed out six boxes overseas for Christmas. This will be her third year to ship gifts.

“This community is great,” Evanson says. “They are awesome about supporting the troops. It just fills my heart to no end.”

Evanson takes donations at her store, Mane Shipping, located at 404 West Main Street in downtown Cortez. Greeting cards of all occasions and all types of item donations are welcome.

She currently needs addresses for soldiers overseas. Please email any known addresses for loved ones and friends to maneshipping@hotmail.com or call 565-6266 for more information on how to help.

rachels@cortezjournal.com