Local mother joins group to help take care of soldiers

Published 8:28 pm Friday, November 21, 2008

Food: Beef jerky, slim jims, chex mix, nuts, trail mix, Gatorade powder, breath mints, any snacks and anything instant.

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Other items: sand scarf, Clorox wipes, toys, AT&T phone cards, books, magazines, water guns, sewing kits, disposable cameras, batteries, zip lock bags.

A mother’s love for her child is a bond that cannot be easily broken. No matter how many miles apart she is from her son or daughter she still cares for them and loves them. That is all fine and well for soldiers who still have loved ones at home to support them.

The truth is many soldiers feel alone. When a mail truck or plane comes in and they don’t have anything to show how much they are loved back home, some start to lose interest in what they are actually fighting for.

One local mother has taken steps to help soldiers who don’t have anyone back home to write or send him or her care packages.

Lisa Simpson recently joined a group called Soldiers’ Angels, and she hopes to encourage more people in Chilton County to become a member. The Soldiers’ Angels is a group of people who started taking care of soldiers by sending them letters and small tokens of appreciation such as blankets.

Simpson said the Web site was started by a mother whose son wrote her from Iraq and said that it was sad watching his fellow soldiers’ disappointed faces when they didn’t receive anything encouraging from home.

After a few people joined in, the support chain grew, and Soldiers’ Angels is now a worldwide group of people who want to make a difference in a soldier’s life. Soldiers’ Angels is a non-profit organization that sends letters and packages over seas to soldiers in every branch of the military.

“I can’t see their faces when they get their mail, but I know how I feel when I receive something from them. If they just feel one-tenth of what I feel, then I know I must be making a difference in their lives, just the way their letters make a difference in mine and my family’s lives,” Simpson said.

Simpson is now a community team leader and is looking for new members to join with fundraising and soldier adoption. She said there is always a new soldier to adopt; therefore, the need for new people never ends.

Although you must be an adult to adopt a soldier, there are ways that kids can get involved as well. There are two other groups – mini angels for kids in the fifth grade and below and angelettes for kids in the sixth grade through age 18.

“If these men and women were not doing what they are, then we couldn’t do the things we do,” Simpson said. “For that, I am thankful, and I just hope that they can feel how much we care about them through the letters and packages we send.”

For more information on joining the group, adopting a soldier or making a donation, contact Simpson at (205) 665-2230 by phone or Ctla104@gmail.com by e-mail. You can also register or make a donation at the Soldiers’ Angels Web site at http://www.soldiersangels.org.