Burrow: Gift drive a success

Hundreds of U.S. military personnel stationed overseas this Christmas season will receive some holiday cheer from area residents, thanks to a “great” response to the just-concluded Howard County's Christmas for Our Troops drive, organizers said.Debbie Burrow, who led the drive, said almost 500 packages filled with holiday goodies, Christmas cards, toiletries and other items were mailed out this week.Those items, plus the money to buy even more package-stuffers, were supplied by very generous Howard County residents, Burrow said.“The community responded just great,” she said. “I honestly don't know how it could have gone better … Things went great. We came up with just about everything we needed, we had all the help we needed and it all came together really smoothly at the end.”Each of the 487 gift boxes sent to troops overseas contained about $50 worth of gifts, Burrow said, and should arrive in time for Christmas.Although this year's drive is completed, Burrow admitted tentative plans for next year's effort have already begun.“We're going to pack up the boxes the weekend before Thanksgiving next year,” she said. “That's about as far as we've got with planning for next year, but we're definitely going to do it again.”