Group seeking donations to send to troops overseas


A Seymour woman recently was asked what the community could do to help the troops, and she realized it’s hard for people to find information about helping out.

Jenel Matlock was inspired to take action, so she started a Facebook group about two weeks ago to support troops and their families.

Within two days, 200 people had joined the group, and at last count, there were about 450.

“I decided that I wanted to be that person, so I created a Facebook page called Seymour Supports Our Troops,” Matlock said. “I got a lot of questions about it quickly, including people from Brownstown, so I decided to make the page name Jackson County Supports Our Troops.”

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Matlock put together a list of needed items and procured some drop-off locations to collect donations.

“I did a monthly mystery box for a military mom while her husband was deployed,” Matlock said. “Right now, I’m helping two military moms here in Seymour as often as I can.”

Matlock said she has always loved helping military families in any way she can. She served six years in the National Guard, and her husband, Jason Matlock, currently is serving.

On the Facebook page, she plans to continue to post ways the community can be involved in helping local military families and troops overseas.

“I have talked to a few groups at Fort Bragg, the Red Cross and one of the Indiana units that are currently deployed,” Matlock said. “From that, I came up with a small list of things to send.”

She will be collecting items through Wednesday and plans to do another collection in March and possibly every three months after that, sending to different units.

As far as drop-off locations, Matlock said the owners of Blush and Brush Beauty Bar in Seymour have agreed to have a table set up for drop-offs.

Ashley Hankins currently runs the beauty bar that she owns with her sister, Brittany Hankins.

“When Ashley and I first opened the business, we were really big on implementing things in the community,” Brittany said. “We are looking for any way we can help people both inside and outside of the community.”

It’s personal for Brittany because her husband spent six years in the U.S. Army. She said he never deployed but knew people who did.

Matlock recently decided to visit downtown businesses, distributing flags and information about what they are collecting.

“While walking around, I talked to the Seymour Police Department, and they also agreed to be a drop-off location,” Matlock said. “Kayla Stice in Brownstown reached out and said she would love to participate, too.”

Stice, who runs a State Farm Insurance office, said she was happy to participate and glad to have the opportunity to include Brownstown as a collection point.

“I’ve know Jenel for a long time, and I remember when she was in the reserves, and she is just an awesome person,” Stice said. “She has always been a leader and a volunteer, so I wasn’t surprised when she told me about this project.”

Stice said her office serves as a collection point for other worthwhile causes, too. They are collecting food year-round for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Shed for You community building and shoes for Jackson County Cold Night Out Shelter’s Soles for Sleeps fundraiser.

Matlock said there aren’t many donations for the troops yet, and she is still trying to get people involved. Any item donated will be greatly appreciated.

“With all the recent deployments that happened so fast, there are some immediate needs that we can help with,” she said.

People also may write down some words of encouragement, and they will be sent along with the packages to the troops.

“If you cannot donate anything at this time, there are other ways you can help,” Matlock said. “Simply sharing this new group is a great way to get the word out for other people who might be able to help.”

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Donations for Jackson County Supports Our Troops will be accepted at these locations during regular business hours from now until Jan. 29:

Blush and Brush Beauty Bar, 115 W. Second St., Seymour; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Seymour Police Department, 205 N. Ewing St., Seymour; lobby open 24 hours a day

Kayla Stice State Farm Insurance, 416 N. Main St., Brownstown; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Accepted items include travel size toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, good quality razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, wet wipes, laundry soap pods, feminine hygiene products, hair ties (black and brown only), bobby pins, lip balm, individual packets of powder drink mix to add to water bottles, nonperishable snacks such as beef jerky (no pork), Cliff bars, protein bars, Slim Jims, crackers, sunflower seeds, nuts, hot sauce, granola bars, gum, trail mix, non-chocolate candy, etc.

Fun items also may be included or anything to keep the troops’ spirits up, along with some words of encouragement to be sent with the packages.

Information: Search for Jackson County Supports Our Troops on Facebook or email [email protected]


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