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Pillowcases for the troops coming from Connecticut

MILFORD -- Pillowcases may be a simple gift, but colorful hand-sewn ones lovingly created by local women could mean a great deal to a member of the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

A group calling themselves "Dream Team Moms" makes and donates pillowcases to Give2TheTroops, a Rocky Hill based nonprofit organization.

The Milford Police Department participates as a drop-off site for Give2TheTroops, said Officer Jeffrey Nielsen, who is the department's spokesman.

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He said many members of the Milford Police Department have served in the military or are currently active members.

Give2TheTroops collects items needed by troops as well as monetary donations to cover the cost to mail packages overseas. In addition, the organization collects items for military dogs serving America.

Last week, the Dream Team Moms dropped off 263 pillowcases at the Milford Police Stations, said member Sharon Betz.

She said the group started making pillowcases for soldiers in 2010. "It has been a wonderful project. We do it (this time of year) before the holidays and we also do it for Mother's Day and Father's Day," she said.

Betz, whose husband is a Navy veteran, said they pick out masculine fabrics for men and "flowery, girly stuff" for women.

"It's a labor of love. Anything we can do for the troops," she said.

The women enclose thank-you cards and a copy of "The Lord's Prayer" for the recipients.

Nielsen said students from Meadowside Elementary School put together care packages for the troops, which also will be sent overseas through Give2TheTroops.

Nielsen said the police department usually sponsors a drive outside of Wal-Mart and Petco on the Boston Post Road to collect items for deployed troops and for military dogs. The drive was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy and will be held later, he said.

Nielsen said residents may donate items by placing them in the department's collection bin anytime. 

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