Wednesday, July 15, 2009
"The Richmond, Virginia Council Navy League of the United States care package project that got bigger through the efforts of Amy Conzalino at local CVS stores (“Inspiration at the check-out counter”), got another boost July 7 as the league developed a partnership with Blue Star Families of Richmond and Blue Star Families of Central Virginia. Rather than supplying items, however, this partnership will help distribute the items collected.
The Navy League sent letters contacting both the Charlottesville-based Central Virginia chapter and the Richmond-based chapter of the Blue Star Families organization. The letters led to a meeting between the three groups at the Navy League offices in Richmond.
“Understandably, [the Blue Star Families groups] wanted to check us out and make sure we’re legitimate,” Gibbons explained.
As Blue Star Families of Richmond President Rebecca Hickman and Blue Star Families of Central Virginia President Jacqui Cecalupo and Vice President Kathy Warren toured the offices of the Navy League, the three groups found an instant bond over the care packages and shipping. All members present rattled off prices based on package sizes instantly and shared stories of difficult and touching shipment expeditions.
The Blue Star Families organizations are chapters of Blue Star Mothers of America, which is a non-profit organization that also supports current and formerly deployed members of all branches of the military. It serves as both a support network for families and friends of those serving and as a service organization working to improve the lives of returning military members and deployed troops.
“Balancing those functions has been a challenge for us,” Hickman said. “We are there for those 11 p.m. phone calls, but we also have members who just want to help.”"
Midlothian Exchange - News: Shipping out from the hometown: