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CHRISTMAS PACKAGES FOR OVERSEAS TROOPS

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Christmas packages filled with Kiwi goodies and messages from home are being prepared for our servicemen and women serving abroad.

Wellington - Christmas packages filled with Kiwi goodies and messages from home are being prepared for our servicemen and women serving abroad.

On 29 September, NZDF military attendees in uniform, as well as members from the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RNZRSA) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), Countdown staff, parents and children from the Trentham Military Base, and pupils from the Mt Cook Primary school will be packing Christmas boxes that will be sent to our troops deployed on operational missions worldwide.

Media are invited to attend the event at 9:30 AM on 29 September at the Trentham Sports Complex in Upper Hutt.

“This tradition started in the 1940s and has stood the test of time because it means so much to the troops abroad and their families here in New Zealand. It’s difficult being so far from home during such a special holiday, and we want to show our appreciation for the hard work they are doing overseas,” said BJ Clark, RSA National President.

Countdown’s General Manager of Strategy and Corporate Affairs Richard Manaton reiterated the support, stating “At Countdown, our business is food but we are also firm believers in doing good things for great people. This project with the RSA is a natural fit for us and we’re really proud to donate the products that are being sent to those serving abroad.”

Volunteers will pack over 200 boxes with products donated by Countdown that include pudding, chips, snacks, gum, toothbrushes, popcorn, Maggi Onion Soup and Nestle Reduced Cream, and much more. The packages have proven very successful. Last year, a survey was conducted of all the serving personnel who received the parcels. They were very grateful, with the most popular items being those that had a ‘‘taste of home’. A Christmas card from the children at Mt Cook Primary will also be included in each package. ”The New Zealand Defence Force has a number of deployments around the world, often in difficult and dangerous places. Our personnel are far away from home and family, and this excellent gesture will be very much appreciated by our people,” said Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

CEO of RSA David Moger is looking forward to the event. “We’ve been making these boxes for years and each time, it puts a smiles on people’s faces knowing that our troops will enjoy these packages. We appreciate the support from Countdown, and all the people that are volunteering to ensure these boxes and filled up and ready to go.”

Service men and women are currently stationed overseas as part of operational missions in Afghanistan, Antarctica, the Combined Maritime Force, Iraq, Middle East, Sinai, South Korea, and South Sudan.

To find out more about joining a local RSA or the online RSA, visit https://rsa.org.nz/join. Follow the RSA on Twitter @RSA_National or Facebook RSA National.

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