Mother’s Nonprofit Effort To Send 400 Care Packages

Soldiers Receive Care Packages From Nonprofit In 2015, Karen Cote sent a care package to her soldier son, who was stationed in Kuwait. That one box became the catalyst...

Soldiers Receive Care Packages From Nonprofit

In 2015, Karen Cote sent a care package to her soldier son, who was stationed in Kuwait.

That one box became the catalyst for Cote’s nonprofit group that, three years later, is sending 400 holiday packages to soldiers in desert outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan this month.

Cote said the box she sent to her son Nick’s outpost was so appreciated by his unit that she decided to keep sending more out.

“I had no idea it would grow so much,” Cote said. “It’s all because of people being so generous with donations and time.”

Her decision resulted in Hero Boxes, a registered nonprofit that this year collected more than 6,000 pounds of donated items. More that 60 volunteers have pitched in since Nov. 1 to collect donations, sort them and package them in boxes to be mailed.

“The Berlin community really came out to support the troops this year with donations of items needed and wanted by our deployed troops, plus the backing for paying for shipping the packages,” said Peter Galgano, a Vietnam Marine veteran who serves on the town’s Veterans Commission.

The first year the group sent about 100 boxes. Last year they mailed 250 packages. This year, the number is 400, weighing more than three tons of candy, toiletries, socks and sundries for troops miles from a base or store.

Each box contains hard-to-get necessities and treats considered luxuries by troop posted miles away from any base or other places they could buy items like soap, black socks, packs of cookies, disposable razors, sunscreen, or playing cards.

“I’m just overwhelmed by how generous people are,” Cote said. “So many people donate items and their time. They make this all possible. It’s not about me. It’s about them.”

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