BERLIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Home for the holidays sadly isn’t always possible for active military men and women. Berlin-based nonprofit Boxes to Boots sends care packages to deployed men and women who are serving overseas.
“We ship care packages throughout the year but our biggest shipment is always in November,” said Boxes to Boots President Kristen Gauvin. “We do that because our troops who can’t be home for the holidays… this is a nice morale booster for them and something for them to open on Christmas morning.”
On Saturday, around 1,000 volunteers gathered at Beehive Stadium in New Britain to wrap, pack and send the packages overseas. Gauvin said they are sending more than 800 this year; 600 of them will be going to National Guard members stationed in Africa.
“Seems like everyone seems to know someone who is deployed in Africa right now, so we wanted to do something special and keep it local this year and send it to our Connecticut troops,” Gauvin said.
The other 200 will be sent to troops in Honduras and in the coming weeks, 150 more boxes will be sent to the boots on the ground in Poland.
“I was in Afghanistan last year and Kristen sent each and every member of my team a box,” said U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Kirsty Rosado. “It was the best feeling ever. It was a piece from home. Being in Afghanistan, so far from home, it really touches your heart.”
Boxes to Boots is hoping to touch hundreds of more hearts this holiday season.
“We truly appreciate our troops’ service and all of their sacrifices,” Gauvin said.