Thoughts with serving troops this Christmas

AUSTRALIAN troops in Afghanistan will know they are thought of this Christmas thanks to the efforts of the Dubbo Community Men's Shed.

The shed raised $300 towards 15 two-kilogram gift boxes for serving men and women, and will be posted tomorrow.

The money was used to buy personal items like lip balm, nut bars, Anzac biscuits, salted peanuts and magazines by the shed at Woolworths Delroy Park to fill the boxes.

Each box also contained a return letter for the soldier to write back to the shed if he of she wished, a brochure on the Dubbo Community Men's Shed and a touching poem about Australian soldiers serving their country, written by shed member Frank Doolan.

Australian Army Warrant Officer Class One Shaun Graham was presented with a copy at the Dubbo Men's Shed during a visit, according to shed member Kevin Sinclair.

Mr Sinclair said Warrant Officer Class One Graham, who had served in two tours of Afghanistan, was moved by the poem when it was recited to him by Mr Doolan.

Shed member Phil Knight hoped the brochure would help the soldiers when they returned to Australia after duty.

"When they come home they may seek companionship at a men's shed," he said.

Dubbo Men's Shed and Woolworths Delroy Park formed a partnership during the last 12 months which extended to the 15 gift boxes prepared for Australian soldiers.

Shed members have also been selling tickets for the Woolworths Fresh Futures Appeal.

The hard work done by the Dubbo Community Men's Shed helped raise $16,000, Woolworths Delroy Park store manager Gai Hicks said.

It is the second highest amount of money raised out of the 15 Woolworths stores participating in the appeal.

megan.taylor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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