Harford residents are mobilizing local efforts to support the U.S. troops serving in the Persian Gulf.
From donating blood to writing letters and preparing care packages for soldiers, residents are showing that the home front is behind the U.S. troops leading the attack against Iraqi forces.
"We know that in situations like this, people come forward," saidMary Borzymowski, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Bel Air. "When something like this happens, it hits home."
Since the Persian Gulf crisis started, local blood donations to the Red Cross havenearly doubled, Borzymowski said.
The donor center at the VillageMedical Center in Fallston is now receiving about 100 units of blooda day, Borzymowski said. The center is open from 1 to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
RedCross officials might expand the center's hours to handle the extra donations. To check the center's hours, donors should call the centerat 764-4619.
The Red Cross has blood drives for their bank for the troops scheduled for Jan. 29 at Bel Air High School and Jan. 30 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Pylesville. Both drives will run 2 to 8p.m.
Meanwhile, Project Hugs From Home, a letter-writing campaignstarted by Jan Hanbury of Darlington, has gone national.
The project matches citizens and community groups with troops who want letters and food.
To join the project locally or nationally, write Hanbury at P.O. Box 202, Darlington, 21034.
County residents also can send letters and packages independently. Here's how:
* Letters or packages to Army, Air Force or land-based Marines should be addressed to:
Any Service Member, Operation Desert Storm, APO New York 09848-0006.
* Mail for Navy and shipboard Marines should be addressed:
Any Service Member, Operation Desert Storm, FPO New York 09866-0006.
* Suggested items for care packages include games, pens, hobby items, batteries, baseballs, video and cassette tapes, lotions, thermal underwear, and sweat clothes.