Local man inspired to send
December 26, 2006
Steamboat Springs — Merkin Scott makes an effort to do at least one community service project each year. Last year, for example, Scott and some of his friends raised money to promote melanoma awareness.
But when it came time to do his good deed this year, the project hit closer to home.
Scott’s brother, Tad, and his father, Mike, are serving in Iraq. Tad is in the Marines and helps train the Iraqi police force. He often spends his days dodging bullets in the dangerous city of Fallujah. Mike is in southern Iraq helping to build the infrastructure needed to develop the nation.
It was during conversations with his brother and father that Merkin realized just how much little things from home can mean.
“It’s sad. I had no idea how bad this thing is,” Merkin said about the situation in Iraq. “It opened my eyes to what’s going on and made me want to do a little bit. The littlest things make the biggest difference for these guys.”
Merkin decided to start sending care packages to not only his family members, but to other U.S. troops stationed abroad and recovering in U.S. hospitals.
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And although Merkin said his efforts have been successful, he’s always looking for more people to donate items to send as well as money to help pay for shipping.
He’s also looking for specific troops to send things to.
“I know if my brother gets five minutes to talk to me, it literally makes his day,” Merkin said. “It means so much to these guys. No matter what you think about this war, you need to support these guys.”
Merkin will have a box outside of City Market for people to drop off items to send to troops.
And he isn’t the only one preparing packages for troops during the holiday season. High school students have been gathering donations and items and dropping them off at Johnny B Good’s diner in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Also Molly Hibbard, Marci Valicenti and Lynne McNasby have been collecting items for troops since 2002 at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
“I think everybody is into this,” Merkin said. “Why not just jump into this all the way?”
People with questions can call Merkin at 870-0516 or 819-0497.