BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A heartfelt message from Qatar arrived in Christy Smith’s email box.
“The boxes you sent were the most amazing care packages I have seen in my four deployments,” wrote Senior Master Sgt. Adam Campbell.
As founder of Baton Rouge Soldier Outreach, a nonprofit that sends care packages to U.S. troops overseas every quarter, Smith discovered that demand over the holidays far exceeded what she anticipated.
BR Soldier Outreach had a record of 14 requests from units for the November holiday shipment.
“Sunday came, and it was ‘WOW 7 more units called on us to send Christmas goodies their way,” wrote Smith in the December newsletter.
November’s shipments alone included more than 500 Christmas stockings and nearly 400 bags for units from Honduras to South Korea. A portion of the items would be mailed to Campbell and his unit of 30 airmen in Qatar.
“This warms my heart! My team will be so excited,” responded Campbell when he learned the shipment would include a Christmas tree and decorations.
The care packages sent by BR Soldier Outreach often include items like candy, protein bars, handwritten cards from students, Tony’s seasoning, toiletries and crosswords. Campbell’s unit received six boxes of individual care packages.
“We were overwhelmed with the snacks in them and the time it must have taken to compile over 30 bags,” wrote Campbell.
In 2008, Smith began working with an informal group at a local motorcycle dealership to ship care packages to deployed troops. Nine years later, Smith organized the group as an official nonprofit.
“Thanks to you and your team for all you do for those of us deployed,” wrote Campbell, “especially during the holidays.”
How you can help
BR Soldier Outreach sends care packages to soldiers year-round.
- Donate products: BR Soldier Outreach sends everything from trail mix to disposable razors. Check out the full wishlist of what and where to drop off.
- Give money: Shipping care packages is the most pivotal component of the mission. November’s Christmas shipments alone cost $3,944.20. To make a financial donation, click here.
- Volunteer: BR Soldier Outreach also needs help collecting donations and packing boxes. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities.