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Gold Star Mom JM Edmond

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HUGS PROJECT INCORPORATED
February 17, 2011

As a Gold Star Mother who's Army Soldier Son was KIA in 2005 in Iraq and Mom of a 2nd Soldier Son, who deployed twice to very dangerous areas in Iraq, I know first-hand how important The Hugs Project is for Troops morale and "family support back home" during the toughest times! The Hugs Project is the epitome of good neighbors, good friends and greatttt Americans by their actions!!! These volunteers are about the hardest working Americans you will ever know! Who always rise to the bar to help our Troops over and over again!

Year after year, The Hugs Project Volunteers selflessly... and tirelessly..must raise donation funds to create, pack and ship thousands of much needed care boxes and cool ties to our Troops serving on the front lines overseas. Their care boxes are life lines from home to our Troops... letting them know some fellow Americans remember them and their daily sacrifices while they courageously serve far from home!! I heard directly from my Sgt. Soldier Son when based in the dessert, in a primitive forward operating base with 130 degree heat, no running water and short supplies receiving care boxes from The Hugs Project totally renewed Soldiers morale and shared goodwill! The Soldiers commented "they don't know what they would have done without those care boxes, as they were reall morale life savers!" A care box and letters can be one of the best ways to let our Soldiers know they aren't forgotten and are appreciated for their service to our nation during a time of war. A box so small that means so much!! For a lifetime of "caring" memories for our Troops! But, The Hugs Project cannot handle this load alone and also need help and support!

Many Americans just assume that care boxes to our Troops are made up and shipped from our military facilities free of charge. That is quite an incorrect assumption as each care box made costs The Hugs Project over $10 dollars a box to be mailed, and the mail carrier is the United States Post Office, not shipping on military cargo planes. And items in the care boxes depend on the donations received or funds sent in to buy the supplies packed. Yearly the costs run into multiple thousands of dollars easily just to continue to send our American Troops a caring box from home filled with love...and hugs!

As community neighbors, The Hugs Project members also kindly and actively support other non profit military support groups in Oklahoma and try to work with them often on Troop projects such as "welcome events at Christmas/ Exodus" at the OKC airport, deployment ceremonies for the Oklahoma 45th Infantry Army and Air National Guard, and numerous statewide and nationwide Troop support events yearly. Also, as a former chapter President of a fellow military non profit support group, The Hugs Project generously helped my organization on several occasions with their time and services and were wonderful partners to work with in helping "get" care boxes sent to our Soldiers. They were much appreciated in their fellow support!

And until the last of our brave Troops are able to return home, The Hugs Project wants to keep remembering our Warriors with hearfelt support and care boxes filled with cool ties and much needed supplies. Please help them with their admirable and continuing goal!
The Hugs Project is a truly outstanding and wonderful organization!!
They are America at it's best!

Jan Martin
Gold Star Mother and former Blue Star Mother
Edmond, OK

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My 2nd Soldier Son and his platoon received much needed care boxes in Iraq from The Hugs Project when serving in a desolate, dessert outpost that had no running water and were in short supplies. The Hugs Project care boxes and letters greatly improved Troop's morale after arriving in "mail call" during the summer. The Soldiers were ecstatic to see the boxes and share the contents! Some of the Soldiers had never received mail before while deployed, so care boxes were much appreciated!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give the Starks the Civilian Medal of Freedom! And make them an important office in the Defense Dept in D. C. in charge of Troop morale and support so it would be mandatory that every U. S. Soldier receives care boxes from The Hugs Project monthly paid for by the govt! Also clone their organization so all military non profits ran with their professionalism and heart!

More feedback

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

They were a fellow military non profit support group for our Troops in the same town when I was the Chapter President of Blue Star Mothers Chapt. 8, Edmond, OK and we tried to work together with our groups. We met "officially" when the founders, Karen and Ray Stark came over the night they heard my Soldier Son had been killed in Iraq and stayed with me for hours to comfort my broken heart.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

To keep working on Troop Support until our last Soldier comes home from these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!! Also, is a reminder that non profit military support groups can and should work together and can do so well to aide and support our Troops instead of being territorial in scope as some similar groups truly and unfortunately are!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Client Served & As a mother of a 2nd Soldier Son serving his 2nd deployment in Iraq, asked The Hugs Project to add my Sons platoon to their mail out list to receive much needed care boxes from home.

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