Those of you who read this blog regularly and follow our school supplies drive know that we ship school supplies to U.S. troops who request them for their humanitarian missions in Afghanistan. Our list of items that we collect and ship include paper, notebooks, pens, paper and other such educational materials. But this week that changed – because we sent candy!!!!
Why candy you may ask? Well, here’s the story about a special young Sergeant who recently sent this note to us via Facebook:
“I am interested in finding out about how to have my unit/COP in Afghanistan added to your shipping address. I am running out of pens fast, and that seems to be all kids want around here.”
He added that he would need the items as soon as possible as “we are fairly isolated from the major FOB (Forward Operating Base), so mail drops have been few and far between.”
We responded back immediately to get his shipping address and sent 8 boxes the next day from Tampa. And a few days later two of our satellite groups in Colorado and Germany sent him additional 20 boxes. And now we have yet another group that wants to send him more stuff.
I shared this young man’s story with my friends at Weight Watchers (yes I needed a little help getting rid of all the “deployment weight” I put on stress eating while my husband spent a year deployed to Afghanistan recently) and my Weight Watchers friends immediately sprang into action. To say “thanks” and to show their support for “Sgt. X”* many of them handed me school supplies throughout the week and they also collected three large APO boxes full of Halloween candy to ship to “Sgt X” and his buddies. Just a small token of gratitude for making our world safer and helping these Afghan kids get an education.
“Sgt X” seemed pretty surprised to be getting so many packages and he emailed us back to say he will be thrilled to share the candy with his buddies but also with the children near his base. As you know, candy can be a goodwill gesture in the combat zone and that little piece of candy can help bring the U.S. troops and the Afghan villagers closer together. And that little piece of candy might just keep our brave men and women over there a little safer. So BIG BIG THANK YOU to all the Weight Watchers members in South Tampa at the SouthTown “store” on Neptune for giving up your Halloween candy!
PS. “Sgt X” promises to send us an email with photos when they deliver and pass out the school supplies. So check back often – we will post those pictures right here on the blog as soon as we get them!
* Due to security restrictions we do not identify deployed troops while they are in country unless we get special permission from their chain of command.