Hometown Heroes

Great Bend woman gathers donations for military care packages

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) - Over the last 15 years military mom, Leslie Halbower Barrett has made it her mission to send care packages to service members in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. She says her generosity lets our service members know they are special to us. 

Barrett's home looks like an assembly line. Most of the time she is stuffing boxes with things like shaving cream, shampoo, nuts, and candy for service members overseas.

"We were going to do some care packages. We knew of a few more deployed soldiers. So, as we begged and borrowed and got things together, we ended up with 50 boxes," said Barrett. 

That number grew to hundreds of boxes. She has shipped a huge amount of care packages to our brave men and women in uniform.  But, it's not cheap to fill up all these care packages.

"Each one costs about $50 in items and shipping. We are now closing in on the 6,000 mark," said Barrett. 

It costs another $16 to ship them. Leslie needs donations to keep her program going. 

"But, the money isn't going as far as it did. The shipping costs are up a bit. So, I do need to start the process of writing letters, begging for money again," said Barrett. 

Leslie runs a daycare, but somehow, she finds the time to make late night runs to the store to load up on supplies.

"I think that I'm to the point I will give it up, then, we get a thank you note and that sort of fires you up for the next one," said Barrett. 

Leslie says she is committed to her mission because she wants to make sure those who are protecting our freedoms are appreciated for their brave mission.

"I'm a very patriotic person, but I think the hardest part for me is that they feel forgotten sometimes," said Barrett.

Leslie says one of the best parts of what she is doing is those thank you notes she gets from service members. It not only touches her but keeps her going.

Leslie always needs cash donations, it allows her to buy more items to be shipped out.  
If you can help, please call 620-792-2838. 

If you know a Hometown Hero, we'd love to hear about them. Send your nominations to reportit@ksn.com.

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