Clarity Pointe asks community to support ‘Packages for Heroes’

Clarity Pointe Memory Care Assisted Living staff and its residents are asking the Farragut community to show support for military personnel serving overseas by creating “Packages for Heroes.”

“The plan is to gather personal care items and healthy foods to be distributed in packages decorated with love and patriotic messages from home to active-duty soldiers stationed around the world,” said Mary Lynne Payne, Clarity Pointe community relations director. “The goal is to create awareness of our active military to the folks at home and the need to recognize and assist their efforts from home.

“It needs to [include] sweet, loving messages from people at home so when the boys get them, they will be something special — rather than just a box with some stuff in it.”

Payne said the effort also is a way to encourage the community to “remember the young American men and women waging war now in other parts of the world, fighting for the freedoms we enjoy.

“It’s as if no one here feels a part of the sacrifices as they did in bygone eras,” she said. “This is a collective effort to put together care and appreciation packages from home to deployed American heroes.”

To kick off the collection, an American Hero Celebration honoring veterans and currently deployed military personnel has been scheduled from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 26, in Clarity Pointe, 901 Concord Road, Farragut.

The celebration will include a veterans’ recognition meet-and-greet and live country music with Adrian Ray and All-American food, beer and wine. Cost of tickets is a soldier package donation or monetary donation for postage.

The effort to collect the packages was the result of a conversation among the staff at Clarity Pointe, Payne said.

“We, as a collective healthcare industry, do a lot of fundraising for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and that type of thing, and my son is in the military and I have other friends in the industry who have sons in the military,” she said. “[Collecting the boxes] just kind of came up in a conversation, to have an event where we did something to help our boys and girls in the military.”

Payne’s son, Capt. Spencer Robert Payne, is an Army Black Hawk pilot in command stationed in Afghanistan.

“I send packages all the time, to my son. … I send him things that are healthy that he can eat,” she said.

Payne is asking the public to decorate the boxes they donate. Suggested items with which to fill the boxes are protein bars, soft tuna packets, jerky, dried nuts, dried fruit, Five-Hour Energy drinks, CON-CRET creatine powder used for building muscle, protein powder, coffee, toothpaste, coconut water, healthy snacks, shaving cream and other toiletries.

The public also can make monetary donations to help with shipping costs.

“Because it’s going to be expensive to mail,” she said.

Payne said a couple of churches are interested in assisting with the project. She also is looking for volunteers willing to help put decorated boxes together.

“We can keep having things brought in, but I’m hoping to get a big portion of things at this kick-off party and then run the drop-off center until we get started with the holidays.”

For more information, call Clarity Pointe, 865-407-2128.