(10/30/13) - The holidays are fast approaching. The season can be tough for members of the US military serving overseas. To make sure they're not forgotten, a Mid-Michigan organization is sending care packages. They got some help Wednesday from a local credit union.
A pile of personal hygiene products, snack food and toys sits in the lobby of a Security Credit Union branch. In a few weeks it will be sent to points around the world.
"I was taught to take care of our own. It's my heart and soul," said J. J. Fulgenzi, Operation Care Package Michigan founder.
Operation Care Package Michigan has been in existence for about 10 years. The organization is there to make sure no member of the military is forgotten. Fulgenzi started by sending gift boxes to her nephew in the Army.
"I sent packages to him, then I sent packages to his buddies, then his unit, then his chaplain. Then it just grew," Fulgenzi said.
Over the next few weeks volunteers will gather at what they call "the Bunker" near Lapeer to box the donated items.
"All these goodies will be put in stockings, socks for our soldiers at Christmas and then we also help the veterans in the VA hospital," Fulgenzi said.
Some will also be given to homeless veterans in Detroit. Most of the donated items came from Security Credit Union employees. The organization also donated $800 to cover shipping costs.
"These are service men and women from our area. We care about them. We know they sacrifice for our nation. We want to do what we can to help them feel appreciated and more comfortable," said Christopher Estes, Security Credit Union president and CEO.
"Without people like these guys we can't do what we do," Fulgenzi said.
Operation Care Package Michigan hopes to touch the lives of 700 soldiers and veterans this year.
"We get lots of thank-you notes but you know what? I don't do it for the thank you. I do it because we need to do it for the kids," Fulgenzi said.
For more information on Operation Care Package Michigan, click here.
ABC12 Main Station