When a mother of two sons serving in the military found out that not every soldier serving overseas receives care packages from their family, she decided to do something about it. Now, thanks to LeAnn Boudwine, more than 10,000 troops have received a care package from a complete stranger.
More than 10 years ago, one of Boudwine’s sons told her that soldiers don’t always receive care packages or the pick-me-up that comes with receiving something from a loved one back home. So she started recruiting volunteers and eventually started the organization Support The Troops in Hartford, Wisconsin.
“It started small,” explains Boudwine. “But the more we heard how much it meant to these heroes to know that people back home had not forgotten about them, the more it kept growing and growing.”
At first, Boudwine would simply tell friends and neighbors to pick up soup or shampoo at the grocery store so they could be included in the care packages. But now she has a large contingent of volunteers working together to send packages to soldiers. In fact, many of her volunteers are veterans themselves.
“Veterans are very special people; they see where the need is and they give back,” says Boudwine.
Recently, Support The Troops sent off its 10,000th care package. When you consider the fact that the whole operation began in Boudwine’s living room, it’s quite the accomplishment. More importantly, Boudwine and her organization have no intention of stopping anytime soon.
“Why do we do this? Because of the letters we get,” says Boudwine. “Soldiers tell us how good it makes them feel to know that we are thinking about them. I get teary just thinking about it.”
For more information about Support The Troops and how to contribute, you can visit the charity’s website.