AYDEN -

Formerly known as Give2theTroops in Ayden, a non-profit organization that sends care packages to troops overseas has changed its name to NCPacks4Patriots.

The non-profit organization, headed up by Barbara Whitehead, began seven years ago. The group separated from the national organization - Give2theTroops - in June. 

Before the change, whenever the group would get donations, the money would be put into a national bank account that would be divided throughout the nation. However, since the split, the group can control where the money goes locally.

"We were the largest branch of Give2theTroops. We sent the most care packages and had the most volunteers and most donations. So, by keeping all of that local and in our control, we're going to be able to serve even more people," Whitehead said.

Jack Ward, a war veteran who now works with American Legion Riders Post 39 out of Greenville, gave the group a check for $500 to help with the cause.

"It's vital that we continue to give and give as much as we can for these efforts," Ward said.

Items the group currently needs include small boxes of cereal, beef jerky, tuna in pouches and oatmeal.

The organization is located on Third Street in Ayden.  It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.

For more information, visit their website: www.ncpacks4patriots.org.