If heading to next Saturday's Westborough-Shrewsbury high school varsity football game, bring a toothbrush.
A soldier will receive it.
Shrewsbury High School has begun supporting the Touchdown For America program inspired by an essay that Westborough High junior lineman Max Silverman wrote two years ago.
This year, the program's second one, both schools are collecting donations of supplies for care packages for troops.
Collection boxes are at each school and during their home football games. And fans are asked to bring donations to two varsity football games: Westborough at Shrewsbury, at 2 p.m. next Saturday, Oct. 13, and Nashoba at Westborough, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.
Soldiers, veterans and their families will be admitted free to both games, where they will be honored during halftime.
"It was especially nice last year, because our freshman football coach last year was a Marine," Silverman said Thursday.
"I've just always had a deep respect for the military. They sacrifice everything for us. They go out there every day, and they put their life on the line for our freedoms."
Shrewsbury High senior cheerleading team captains Morgan McCarthy and Rachel Govoni said their school's athletic director discussed Touchdown For America during a leadership summit with the sports teams' captains.
"We thought it was a great cause. We really wanted to support what (Max) created, and we were happy to help," McCarthy said.
Silverman said his essay was about "a football game, in which the game would be centered around collecting items and care packages for the troops."
He recalled sharing the essay with his football coach, who showed it to the athletic director, "saying it was a good idea."
"From there, the idea just kind of took off," Silverman said.
"I started working with the athletic director and the community."
Almost $3,000 in in-kind donations of supplies were collected at Westborough High last year, the program's first, he said.
"The community definitely rallied behind the cause and was great in supporting it," Silverman said.
Silverman welcomed the program's expansion to Shrewsbury.
"I know that there are a lot of soldiers out there from a bunch of different towns, and every one needs their support," Silverman said.
Readers wishing more information are asked to contact Silverman at 508-836-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Touchdown For America is "working with Westborough organizations, such as In
Your Shoes and The Civic Club, to generate funds to cover the cost of postage," the organization noted in a recent press release.