BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Saratoga County has launched its annual Yellow Ribbon Day donation collection drive. The drive benefits Blue Star Mothers of America – NY2 to support U.S. military members who are serving overseas.

Residents can drop off donations now through April 7. Collection boxes are located at the County Clerk’s Office, Saratoga County Department of Motor Vehicle locations, the Saratoga County Veterans’ Services Agency, Halfmoon Town Hall, and at participating Hannaford stores throughout the county.

Donations requested include snacks such as individual and travel size packages of crackers, microwavable cups of soup, fruit snacks, granola bars, and beef jerky, as well as personal care items such as insect repellent wipes, toothbrushes, body wash, deodorant, lip balm, and puzzle books. The Blue Star Mothers – NY2 will use the donations to make “Freedom Boxes” to ship to deployed troops from the Capital Region.

Monetary donations are also accepted to help ship and fill the “Freedom Boxes.” Those interested can donate through the PayPal Giving Fund. Checks can be made payable to Blue Star Mothers of America – NY2 and sent to PO Box 243, Delmar, NY 12054. Suggested donations include $15 to ship a box, $35 to fill a box and $50 to ship and fill a box. Any donation amount will be accepted.

Yellow Ribbon Day is Saturday, April 9. An 11 a.m. ceremony will be taking place at Veterans Memorial Park in Halfmoon. All the donations will then be presented to Blue Star Mothers.

“With collection boxes located throughout the county and our community’s support, we can help troops feel the comforts of home as they protect our freedom from miles away,” said Saratoga County Clerk Craig A. Hayner.

“It’s always a good time to remember those who are serving abroad, and with the troubling current events and more troops deploying across the globe, it’s as important as ever.  I can say from personal experience while serving overseas that receiving a care package of items of necessity and some comforts of home is a tremendous morale boost.  Not only is it a blessing to have the items received, but also knowing that there are folks back home who care and support you is a great feeling,” said Frank McClement, Director of the Saratoga County Veterans’ Service Agency.