I haven't updated you lately, but I just want you to know that Toys for Troops is still alive and kicking over here. We have a lot going on in the wings, are expanding our services, and you'll be hearing more about it in the days to come.
In the meantime, I want to share an email I got on July 3rd, from SSG Kim, serving in Kosovo. She wrote:
We have already been deployed for 4 months and spirits are getting low. I would like to request some beanies to hand out to my younger Soldiers to help them get through this. I also leave the wire every day and would love to hand some out in the poverty ridden villages. God Bless you and your organization for all you do for those of us so far from home and and the ones we love.The day before the holiday weekend! I couldn't wait until Monday! I left work early and sent 250 beanies on their way, with promises of more. And we continued to correspond. Her next email read:
I am very lucky as my job allows me to go out into the orphanages, displaced persons camps, and the villages of the war torn. It's quite heartbreaking to see. I met an older couple the other day that watched three of their sons butchered in front of them in 97. Through my translator I asked why they didn't leave. She kept telling me that she knew the Americans would come. She has 35 people, all family members and mostly children, living in three rooms.... I see these things every day. I can guarantee that I can find a home for as many [toys] as you can get to me.And, a few days later, she sent photos:
Friends, these are OUR American soldiers. Stuff is really happening out there. It's more than the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and CNN and Time magazine. These are real soldiers, helping real people. I get letters from them. Their mothers, fathers, stepmothers, wives, sisters, brothers.
Thankfully, I get emails from you. Every. Single. Day. Every single day, someone from this United States e-mails me, and asks me for an address, or how to send beanies, or what can go in a care package. I wrote to Florida and Minnesota this morning, and I talked on the phone with an Army administrator this afternoon.
We are very, very busy. And there's stuff to do right now, and there will be stuff to do later. We'll be here, if you want to play in our sandbox.
In the meantime, show SSG Kim a little love, will you? I'll save you the cost of a stamp, and direct her to the comments here; she can forward them to her guys, who are our guys, too.
If ever a record should be broken this is it.
Who's on deck?