While the possibility of war is uncertain, it -is- certain tens of thousands of American soldiers and sailors will be in the Persian Gulf region for a while. Red Cross chapters across Iowa are organizing a one-week effort at month’s end to collect items that can be packaged and sent overseas to the troops. Bobbie Bishop, at the Central Iowa chapter, says sealed store-bought cookies are a good start.Other items include: individually-wrapped pieces of candy, microwave popcorn, coffee, sugar, creamer, hand sanitizers, wet wipes, paperback books, sunscreen, DVDs, music CDs, movies on VHS and card games. Bishop says the world is different since the attacks of nine-eleven, and people in Iowa will -not- be able to send anonymous packages to troops now, like they did during the Gulf War of a dozen years ago. Bishop says Iowans can also help by donating cash to the effort as postage is going to cost about a dollar a pound. Due to necessary security measures, she says the military will only accept public donations of articles through shipments from American Red Cross offices. She says most Red Cross chapters in Iowa are holding “Quality of Life” item-gathering drives during the week of March 24 through 29. Call your local chapter for full details.