MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While many of us are making holiday plans, some Americans don’t have that option. Members of the military will again be spending the season in Afghanistan.

Yet, some Minnesota Nice will soon be heading their way.

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Lanae Paaverud’s basement is full of soap, siracha, cereal and thank you cards. The Shakopee mom has a husband and three adult kids she says share a sense of humor.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of our favorites,” she said. “We watch it at least a couple of times a year.”

Something they do once a year, for the holidays, is find a charity. She decided this year, with a daughter now in uniform, she’d send comfort items and letters to the troops.

“It’s been more of a response than I imagined, from relatives and friends and people out of state,” she said.

Her friend in Utah is helping collect, too. Other than that, she’s used social media, making a Facebook group, and she’s asked a local superintendent for help via Twitter.

She even has a stack of thank you notes kids wrote to troops. She calls the cause, Mission Ferris Bueller.

“We named it Mission Ferris Bueller, because we want to bring joy and cheer to them, and we want to give them a break from reality,” Paaverud said.

The original goal was 10-20 boxes, now she’s hoping for 40. Her dream would be to fill 100.

With this new goal, they need more items, and something they don’t have  is time. Nov. 1 is the deadline.

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“We have some bath and body items, some food items that we still would like to get,” Paaverud said.

She says if she reaches her goal, she will do a polar plunge.

If you’d like to help Paaverud reach the goal, here’s a list of needed items and a way to donate cash:

Item drop off location:

Shakopee Chamber and Visitors Bureau
1801 County Road 101 E
Shakopee MN 55379

The hours are Monday-Friday, Oct. 27- Oct. 31, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 1, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Cash donations can be made to:

Lanae Paaverud
P O Box 402
Savage, MN 55378

Items still needed and quantities:

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— Cereals (Kashi, Mini Wheats, Life ie. healthy brands) – 29 boxes
— Flavored drink mix boxes (10 count boxes) – 86 boxes
— Beef Jerkey -93 bags
— Microwave popcorn -44 bags
— Mac N Cheese microwavable – 76 ind servings
— Candy (no chocolate) ie lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, Licorice – 10 large bags
— iTunes gift cards (up to $20 each) – 25
— Kindle Gift cards (up to $20 each – 25
— PX Gift Cards (up to $20 each) – 25
— Holiday decorations – easily shippable items (no glass) – 100
— Athletic items / workout items – easily shippable – resistant bands, gloves, etc.
— Athletic tops & t-shirts (men and women) – 25
— Sports team apparel, towels, etc. (no balls)
o NFL – 10
o NHL – 10
o MLB – 10
o NBA – 10
o College & Universities
— Toothbrushes – 50
— Toothpaste – 50
— Floss – 50
— Anitpers. / Deodorant (men) – 50
— Baby / Body wipes – 100 packs
— Razors (men) – 15
— Shave Cream (men) – 15
— Soap / Body wash – 50
— Shampoos/Conditioners or 2-in-1’s – 25
— Tampons – 10
— Sanitary pads – 15

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield