The holiday season can be quite hectic for most people. We often get bogged down with the hustle and bustle of Christmas and New Years. It’s the most wonderful time of the year and as wonderful as it is to spend all that extra time with friends and family, there are others that need to be remembered during this time. Last Christmas Eve, both my family and I volunteered for an amazing organization called the Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, Inc. located in Florida. This organization sends care packages to service members that were unable to be at home this holiday season. This event greatly affected me beyond what I expected.
Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, Inc. based in Lake Worth, Florida, is a nationally recognized organization that sends out monthly care packages to deployed military members. Military members can either register themselves or can be registered by family, friends, or commanding officers to receive a “We care” package filled with much needed toiletries, snack food, batteries, drink mixes, comics, personalized letters of encouragement and much more. All care package items are donated from people all over the United States. The mission of this organization is to support the deployed military service members to make sure that they are not forgotten during a long and difficult deployment.
Since 9/11 there have been 2.77 million service members that have served on 5.4 million deployments according to an analysis done the Rand Corporation. Deployment is highly taxing and the stress, loneliness and fear felt during deployment is compounded during the holidays. Being away from loved ones during this time can cause additional anxiety, fatigue and feelings of isolation. Forgotten Soldiers Outreach sends care packages to these soldiers to make sure that they know that they are remembered and appreciated. Being away from home is hard, for the brave service members it is even harder.
When my family and I volunteered to help create the care packages with Forgotten Soldiers Outreach on Christmas Eve, I was unprepared for how much it would affect my emotions. When interviewed during the event, I was overcome with emotions when thinking about how important these heroes are to our country and how much they sacrifice for the safety of the nation. They are apart from their family and friends and more than anything, I wanted these soldiers to know how much they are appreciated and remembered. I am so thankful for the opportunity to create these “We care” packages for service members and to spend time volunteering with my family. There is no other place I would have rather spent my Christmas Eve.
I will continue to support and help this worthwhile cause. It is so important to support these soldiers and send them care packages so they realize how much we appreciate and understand ALL that they do, by risking their lives, so that we can live in freedom.
The foundation is called Forgotten Soldiers because people forget about them and take them risking their lives for us, for granted. The soldiers are our hero’s and should be remembered and appreciated every day.
The holidays aren’t the only time that our soldiers should be recognized for their service; the Forgotten Soldiers Outreach can use your help year round. Although they are located in Lake Worth, they accept donations for the packages from all over the country. They also accept monetary donations through their website. Please visit their website for more ways to help out deployed soldiers.