Support The Troops, Hartford, WI was born in the kitchen of the founder, LeAnn Boudwine. Her sons were deployed and told their Mom how most of the troops with him never received mail or packages with basic supplies like toiletries, snacks, etc. LeAnn decided that was unacceptable for our men and women serving overseas so she approached some friends and local businesses for donations of items to ship. In 2007 an idea was born and 10 years later, LeAnn shipped her 10,000th Package.
Over the years, Support The Troops has held many fundraisers to cover the cost of postage for the care packages. Not once in now 11 years has LeAnn or Support The Troops kept a penny of donations, even paying her own gas to pick up donated items and going to fundraising events.
Companies as well as individuals donate items to ship. These include, but are not limited to, toiletries, snacks, soups, peanut butter, candy, socks, games, even toilet paper. Many people then come together to pack the items for shipping. It's a real team effort.
In her own words:
"Support The Troops was started in 2007 by me sending care packages to my sons
Michael and David Scott who were overseas. After hearing from them when they were deployed that other soldiers did not receive mail, I was compelled to start sending boxes to others as well. The momentum continued, even when my children returned home, and Support the Troops WI was created.
The local American Legions, United Vietnam Veterans & VFW’s wanted to help us
as well. Donations were far and few between at the time, but after a few newspaper articles, they started to come in a bit more regular. We have grown from a one-room operation at my home to a donated storefront with many volunteers. All of the items for the care packages and postage are from donations, and to date, more than 9300+ care packages have been sent to our troops deployed all around the world with their generous support. Some soldiers have families that are able to send them care packages and many do not.
It is my goal to send a care package to as many of our soldiers as possible so that we can give them necessary essentials that may not be readily available, along with a bit of comfort from home. Those that already receive packages always share with others but there are many more that go without. I feel the need to continue to help those serving overseas,
whether it be our own children, or someone else’s daughter, son, brother, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew."
I am proud to be a Veteran and a Volunteer of Support The Troops, Hartford, WI. I look forward to helping LeAnn reach the next milestone of 15,000 packages.
The Motto is: "They're Still There So We Still Care"