Garfield Employee Makes Care Packages for Troops in Iraq

Ross Coleman

With Christmas quickly approaching many people forget about the troops in Iraq who will be spending the holiday overseas.

But one person who is sure to not forget about them is Marie Bartholomew.

Bartholomew is an administrative assistant in the ESL department at the GCC Garfield campus – a place she affectionately calls the school for orphans.

She also spends time all year every year sending care packages to troops in Iraq who don’t have people to write to. It’s hard to believe that during this time of year when many people are consumed with making their loved ones feel loved that someone would feel so giving towards people she has never met.

She sends them anything from movies, magazines, and coffee to toiletries, including toilet paper. Almost everything she gets is from donations. “Many of them desire to have the comforts of home and I try to help them get that,” said Bartholomew.

Many organizations give people the opportunity to do what Bartholomew does. However the website that Bartholomew uses and really credits a lot of her work to is called www.anysoliders.com.

Bartholomew knows the feeling of many troops and military families because during the Vietnam War she had loved ones fighting overseas. She wants the troops to know that people care for them.

The war may be a hot-button topic to many but it is pretty unanimous to give support of the troops. “I don’t want what I do to turn into a political arena,” Bartholomew says.

Bartholomew says there are many ways to get involved, not only with her project but in other ways. She takes donations all year long, which can include nearly anything, including used magazines, books, or DVDs.

By donating such items to Bartholomew, they will serve as gifts not only to a single soldier but to others who will share them. All donations can be taken to the Garfield campus. The products that are most sought after are magazines, DVDs, books on careers, and used laptops.

Another way to get involved is through the websites www.anysoldiers.com and www.goodsearch.com. From these sites donors send care packages and cards of support.

It is an opportunity that GCC students have to get involved in supporting the troops. It doesn’t matter what one’s politics are, making people feel better is always the good thing to do.

“It would be fantastic for the college [at large] to get involved in something like this,” Bartholomew said.

Bartholomew can be reached at (818) 240-1000, ext. 5033 or at [email protected]