WELLSBORO - At least 50 people were on hand to help the "Goodies for our Troops" volunteers move into a new home last weekend, said director and founder Dawn Pletcher.
The volunteers operated the packaging service for active-duty troops around the globe out of the community room at Park Hill Manor until December, said Pletcher.
The program's new home is in the basement of the Free Methodist Church, 69 Central Ave..
CHERYL R. CLARKE/Sun-Gazette
Goodies for our Troops founder and director Dawn Pletcher talks about the blessing a church congregation was for the organization by offering space in its basement for the group to prepare care packages for troops once per month.
Although the new location is not handicap accessible, Pletcher said it is accessible to most of the elderly volunteers she counts on to help her package each month.
"As people kept coming and coming, it was all I could do not to just dissolve in tears of joy," she said about the move last weekend.
Pletcher had so much help, including people from as far away as Westfield, and Troy in Bradford County, that she said they "moved (the) storeroom to the church in much less than two hours."
"Two of the men even rebuilt a couple of our shelf units that I thought were history," Pletcher added.
In November, Pletcher was told by the Tioga County Housing Authority, which owns Park Hill Manor, that the volunteer program would have to find a new location out of which to operate the "Goodies" program, which provides care packages for hundreds of U.S. troops each month.
The all-volunteer group, many of whom are elderly or disabled and live at Park Hill Manor, needed to have its supplies moved out before the end of the year.
Pletcher put the word out and after nearly two months of looking and asking for space around the area, the congregation of the Free Methodist Church stepped up.
"So, here we are, starting out a new year and the second half of our seventh year of sending care packages to our heroes with a new home for Goodies For Our Troops," said Pletcher. "We're just so grateful to Pastor John Mann and his congregation, who've been so generous in offering us a new home and so gracious and accommodating (and) helping us make the move.
"They certainly have been the answer to many, many prayers and reinforce our belief in the power of prayer," she added.