HALIFAX -- A Nova Scotia woman is collecting care packages for the 250 Canadian Forces members aboard HMCS Fredericton overseas.

“It’s a heavy time in Nova Scotia and a lot of Nova Scotians are really struggling,” says Laurel Walker.

“I really wanted to help other Nova Scotians and also help myself.”

Walker is working with the Fairview United Church in Halifax to collect boxes to send to sailors on HMCS Fredericton, which lost six crewmates when a Canadian Forces helicopter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on April 29.

“We’re calling them boxes of hope and treats. They include anything that can kind of be fun and distracting for the crew and to let them know that Nova Scotians are thinking of them,” says Walker.

“The goal is to have a box for every crew member on the ship, so we are aiming for 250 boxes. Right now we are at about 150.”

Rev. Angela MacLean, with Fairview United Church, says people want to do something to help during times of tragedy.

“It’s the small things, the little things, that matter. It may not take the grief away for the folks that are over on HMCS Fredericton, but we really want them to know they are not alone,” says MacLean.

Walker says the boxes can include anything that is not flammable or sharp.

“Snacks, notebooks, protein bars, toiletries, some people have thrown in, toys, games, playing cards and personal letters,” says Walker.

“Boxes can be made for females, males or just unisex.”

On Tuesday, Walker will drop the boxes off at the Military Family Resource Centre in Halifax.

“The crew of HMCS Fredericton has just gone through a huge trauma and I want them to have a sense of connection and to hopefully brighten their day and help their mental health.”