Our main “all-adoptee” packs are a lot of work. The first part includes preparation, collecting all our adoptee names from all our sources (including follow-ups with our units to make sure they’re still in country). We have to request donations from our fabulous Benefactors like Inserra Shop-Rite Supermarkets of North Jersey, Just Born candy from Bethlehem, PA (Mike Ikes, Hot Tamales), Nature’s Bakery, also Bethlehem, Unilever brands, Dollar Shave Club, 4Imprint, HERSHEY, Coffee Associates, Lillie’s Q of Chicago, Zenobia/MySpiceSage.com, JR Cigars and Special Forces Charitable Trust. And when we have everything on hand in the Unilever warehouse (they give us free space and a place to do our packs), there is the week-long preparation.
Then comes the actual packing. For Spring/Easter, our great volunteers from the Unilever Veterans Business Resource Group brought in two shifts of employees to get things done. Noah Segal was in charge of the Unilever VRBG Team. The first shift was the most productive and had the most people (including some of our own volunteers like our Packing Director, Diane Casey; Tom and Joe Metzler, Joe a Combat Engineer in Vietnam, Tom former EMO Director of Bergen County; the Clarks – Jane and Kevin; Steve Kieffer, former Ranger and his partner; and Loring Bush, a newcoming and retired Army Colonel. At 0900 we started making boxes donated from our Benefactor Menasha Corporation. Then at 1000, we started the line! Our stars also include Scott Powley, Francisco Magana, Julian Reyna and Eduardo, Sodexho employees who work in the Unilever warehouse. Scott is the manager.
We set up the assembly line the night before and on packing day, everything went into motion. The team did a great job. First boxes out were 55 boxes for our Special Operators and these included small bags each with 5 cigars. Then over 65 boxes for the NJ ARNG. Our civilian soldiers have been deployed en masse mostly to Africa and the Middle East. Then over 50 boxes for our ships at sea including the USS John Stennis nuclear aircraft carrier – and on and on – over 320 boxes for our Adoptees and their units – Medical and Veterinary units, K-9s, USOs, Army, Navy, Marines, Airmen, you name it!
At the end of the day Thursday, 3 skids and 84 boxes were in the Post Office. By end of day Friday, another 4 skids and 100 more boxes!!! By Tuesday, March 26, all the boxes were out!! Thanks to EVERYONE who helped make this a GREAT pack!!!!
Now we are starting to hear from our Adoptees – it’s so exciting! There is nothing better when you pack boxes for the Troops than to hear they are arriving safely and our Adoptees are enjoying them!!! So far, the first to respond are our our Jersey guys and our ships at sea!!! We love you all!!!!