A mountain of toilet paper and baby wipes spanned from floor to ceiling. Random items like candy bars and other snacks were spilled out on a table. Neatly put together care packages lined the hallway.
And a group of Newtown police officers and a handful of volunteers from the community—all sporting smiles—systematically arranged care packages for troops on Saturday in Town Hall South. The effort was spearheaded by the department's police union, and generously supported by local businesses and residents.
It held special meaning for a few helping hands, too.
The packages are going to be shipped to troops in the 143rd Military Police Company, based out of West Hartford and currently in Afghanistan, of which Newtown police officer Michael Hayes is a member.
Hayes was among the group packing items on Saturday. Amidst the work he chatted with Ryan Norton, a Newtown resident who helped out to fulfill community service hours needed for his upcoming Confirmation at St. Rose.
"One of the boxes is huge for the people over there," Hayes said. "Basic home amenities are few and far between."
One of the most basic, and greatly appreciated items, is baby wipes, Hayes said. And thanks to Kimberly-Clark, troops in the 143rd will have a healthy stock of the item [see pic above].
Newtown Pharmacy also contributed by giving the police union a 25% discount on toiletries, according to Patrolman Scott Ruszczyk, who also serves as police union president.
"We got a real serious turnout as far as donations are concerned," he said, including a $500 donation from the union.
Aside from Hayes and Ruszczyk, among the other Newtown police officers who helped out on Saturday were Ben Mulhall, a member of the Coast Guard, and Liam Seabrook, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Iraq in 2009.