YOUNGSTOWN Yellow-bow project backs troops

The hardest part is finding yellow ribbon. The stores are out of it.
YOUNGSTOWN -- After watching coverage of the war with Iraq as well as war protests on television, Ann DiTullio decided to show her support for the troops by making and distributing yellow bows.
"I got so upset ... thinking about how the families must feel," she said.
Two weeks into the project, DiTullio, manager of the gift shop at Forum Health Northside Medical Center, has used about 500 yards of ribbon to make 150 to 200 bows.
When word got out around the hospital what she was doing, people began offering donations. DiTullio said she made a donation jar and uses the money to buy yellow ribbon, which she said has been the hardest part of the project because many of the local stores are out if it.
"I'll buy any yellow ribbon I can find," she said.
Why she does it
The Boardman woman said the bows are for anyone who has a family member or loved one in the service and would like to show support for the troops.
She makes the bows any chance she gets -- riding in the car taking her daughter Gina back to Wright State University in Dayton, or while watching television.
"It needs to be done," said DiTullio of her yellow-bow project.
"Families who have loved ones in the service need to know that people are supporting their family members," she said.
Her requests are that the bows be distributed one per person, and that they be displayed somewhere visible to the public. Bows have been hung on area houses, fences, cars, windows and doors.
Besides the bows, DiTullio is creating a photo display in the hallway outside the gift shop for hospital employees to post pictures of their loved ones serving in the military.
She said the display cases are glass enclosed and locked.
DiTullio and her husband, Dennis, a Youngstown firefighter, have four children. Besides Gina, they have another daughter, Mary, a pupil at Canfield Middle School, and two sons, Dennis, an Ohio State University student, and Gregory, who attends Canfield High School.