You may or may not know that Kathy started a NON-PROFIT Organization called "Hugs for our Soldiers". Visit the website: http://www.hugsforoursoldiers.org to check out her work.
I think this is a GREAT project for the class of 73 to support not only Kathy in her hard work, but to also show our support for our troops that are still in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. These service men need to remain in our thoughts and on our minds as they are there fighting for OUR FREEDOM! This is something that WE, Class of 73, can do as an ongoing project, year after year.
Read further of my conversation with Kathy:
I've just completed the Valentine's shipping ... sent a little over 1,000 bags of red and white striped peppermint sticks to various groups of soldiers we support in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Cards from kids at Alcoa Middle School (thanks to Sue Thomas Martin!) and First United Methodist Church of Alcoa (AWESOME SUE AND FIRST METHODIST ALCOA!!!) were enclosed in each box. Their cards are so precious!! Take a look on the website in a couple of days and I'll have pictures of them posted.
The next two projects are running simultaneously. First, we're trying to collect at least 1,500 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to ship overseas, so watch for the girls at Walmart, Kroger, Food City, etc. and buy a box for our soldiers. Many of the Girl Scout troops in Blount County have adopted Hugs for Our Soldiers during their sale, so you can simply pay them for a box and they'll set it to the side to give to me later. Pass this onto any of your friends if you can. So don't just ignore these Girl Scouts in the coming weeks, remember our troops!
The other project, which is a BIG ONE, is a Welcome Home project for 1,500 single (unmarried) soldiers who will be returning to their barracks that are empty of everything. The married soldiers are greeted by their wives and then they go to a home that is filled with everything. So for the single soldiers, we're trying to give them a little "welcome home" by putting a snack bag in their empty barracks room, the basic hygiene products (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, razor, shampoo) and a new towel and washcloth. This has a deadline of Feb. 20th. If you have a chance, go to http://www.hugsforoursoldiers.org/node/11 and you can see the things we need ... especially the snack items ... or donations for me to purchase the things that are needed for these young soldiers. Donations can be made online or mailed directly to me. Again, another way you can help is to spread the word by sending this information onto your other friends.
Speaking of your traveling, if you have the space, you could consider collecting and donating the hotel toiletry items. These are exactly what we need for the Welcome Home project as well as for our care packages that we send to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Awesome job Kathy. Thank You! And every time I see a service man in the airport, I think of you and your story of how you started this organization. I also remember the stories from Joyce Meyer, a minister, and from a local Alcoa woman, when they see a service man in a restaurant, they buy their meal anonymously.
Lets get started and help Kathy help our Servicemen who help us and our great country.