Marcelle Shriver, an office manager and Army mom from Stratford, N.J., first advertised for Silly String donations in her church bulletin after her son called from Ramadi and mentioned how the Marine unit he was working with had passed on their tip to his combat engineers new to Iraq.
Since our item on this latest display of military ingenuity first ran, it's been picked up by everyone from Fox & Friends to Jon Stewart's Daily Show. And Shriver has been inundated with donations and cash for shipping. She's even had a private pilot volunteer his services to fly the stuff to Kuwait where it will be taken by truck to Iraq in January. (Because aerosol cans are considered hazardous materials, they're extremely expensive or impossible to ship by commercial or freight air carriers.)
Shriver told TIME today that her one-car garage is now stacked with more than a thousand cans of the stuff. She's looking for more. TIME has also received inquiries from teachers around the country whose students read the story and want to help Shriver in her Silly quest.
"You've gotten me into this mess," she wrote TIME via e-mail. "And I love it!" It will all be worthwhile, she says, if it can save one person's life.
If you'd like to send donations of money (make checks payable to Marcelle Shriver) or cans of Silly String or other items for troop care packages, the address is:
c/o St. Luke's Church
55 Warwick Rd.
Stratford, N.J. 08084