Monday, 12 April 2010

Helping Hands for Soldiers

Written by  Liana Stanley

helping hand“All too often Americans say they support our soldiers, but do little if anything to show their appreciation.” This statement from Clark Lamoreux of Shawnee, Kansas, is certainly true. Taking the thought to heart, Clark and his wife, Kristi, have devised a way to show their support, rather than just verbalizing it.

The couple really became aware of the needs of our soldiers overseas when their son, 21-year-old Dustin Lamoreux, was recently deployed to Afghanistan. “The theaters our soldiers are risking their lives in are for the most part desolate places. Soldiers have little in the way of amenities,” Clark told The New American. To help combat this, Clark and Kristi organized Helping Hands for Soldiers (HHFS) to show our military personnel our gratitude for what they do by sending them care packages containing some “comforts from the heartland.”

Mainly gathering information from soldiers themselves on what they would need or like, the Lamoreuxs have come up with a long list of items to include in their care packages. Included in every box is an assortment of hygiene items and snacks, reading and writing materials, socks, batteries, a Bible, and even a back scratcher. Most importantly, each box includes a personal letter of appreciation and thanks.

Though Clark and Kristi have enlisted the help of friends and family members to help with the boxes, they do the majority of the work themselves, working during the day and purchasing supplies and assembling the care packages in the evenings. And although they gratefully take donations, the Lamoreuxs personally pay the majority of the associated costs as well — approximately $50 per box.

As many military personnel have abundant support from their own families and friends, HHFS strives to find those who don’t have that means. Their lofty goal is to identify and make packages for 50 such soldiers each month. That may take some time and a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but for Clark and Kristi it’s definitely a worthy cause. As one grateful recipient wrote in a letter posted on the HHFS website, “It is an amazing feeling to get one of those care packages – you have no idea how much it makes this place feel a little more like home.... To receive a package, especially from someone who doesn’t know us is really special.... Because of your kindness and generosity you will brighten so many of [the troops’] days.” Which is exactly what Helping Hands for Soldiers is all about.

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