Wishing to brighten the day of soldiers stationed overseas, residents of Waltonwood Cary Parkway assembled care packages for service men and women on Aug. 30.
Residents of the senior living community wrote heartfelt letters of gratitude and tucked them into boxes with donated personal care items such as sunscreen, deodorant, body wash, toothpaste and lip balm. They also included snacks like granola bars, dried fruit and nuts because they are lightweight and easy to carry.
The community worked with NCPacks4Patriots, a nonprofit based in Ayden, N.C., that provides a link between citizens and military personnel to deliver the packages.
“We know this activity not only brightened the days of service members overseas, but the veterans who call Waltonwood Cary Parkway home as well,” said Matthew VanAuker, executive director.
The seniors packed about 30 boxes to be sent overseas.
“The residents were excited to participate, and we know the items in the packages will be helpful and the heartfelt notes will put a smile on their faces. The work that NCPacks4Patriots does is amazing,” he said. “We are proud to support our military and look forward to doing more activities in the future.”
Nadine Whitmore was one of those veterans living at the community who were excited to participate. She became an Army nurse in 1948, then shortly after an Air Force nurse. Whitmore says she joined the military because of her two brothers. One was in the Army and fought at the Battle of the Bulge and the other was in the Navy. She enjoyed the experience because her job offered a service to the country.
She hopes that the care packages and the letters will have an impact on service members far from home.
“It was an honor to collect donations that benefit the men and women who are serving our country,” said Whitmore. “As a retired military member, I hope the young soldier who receives the letter I write is encouraged by it. Letters are life savers. You can hold onto it, and it fills a special place in your heart.”