Houston college football coaches, players join effort to send care packages to troops


University of Houston Coach Tony Levine and Rice University Coach David Baliff joined dozens of volunteers in putting together care packages for soldiers at Luling City Market.

A fully-stacked trailer testifies to the tradition Luling's of sending care packages to our troops overseas. They hold this event twice a year.

The tradition continued this weekend, this time with the help of some familiar faces.

"I know these are actually going directly to help those soldiers," Baliff said. "I think it's great for Rice University and these football players to give back to the community, and I think it's important that we let our soldiers know how proud we are of them and thank them for their job they're doing."

Baliff and Levine were there alongside their players, families and other volunteers.

"Not only are some of our football players out here, but three of my children are here as well," Levine said. "I think it's important that kids of all ages and adults, including myself, understand import of community service."

Volunteers have been doing this at Luling for years -- every Fourth of July and every Christmas. Some of them have been doing it for so long, they have it down to a science.

"We load the boxes, we send them to Afghanistan," volunteer Terri Fritsche said. "They get nonperishable foods, socks, toiletries; we put a Texas flag in there."

They consider it a small gift compared to the sacrifices of our service members.

"They're over there serving our country and we want to repay them," Fritsche said. "It makes you feel good inside to know you're sending something over to the troops."

In return for the packages, the soldiers send letters of thanks and flags.

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