SUBSCRIBE NOW AND SAVE 3 months just 99 ¢/month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Improving 148th Fighter Wing morale, one care package at a time

Mothers, grandmothers and other volunteers coalesced Friday in downtown Duluth with one goal in mind: to support the military. The Lake Superior chapter of Blue Star Mothers, a group of women with children serving or having served in the military...

Maurices employees Mandi Fontaine (left) and Kerry Amborn gather up treats to include in care packages that will be sent to deployed members of the 148th Fighter Wing Friday. Both have family members who will be receiving a package. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com
Maurices employees Mandi Fontaine (left) and Kerry Amborn gather up treats to include in care packages that will be sent to deployed members of the 148th Fighter Wing Friday. Both have family members who will be receiving a package. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com

Mothers, grandmothers and other volunteers coalesced Friday in downtown Duluth with one goal in mind: to support the military.

The Lake Superior chapter of Blue Star Mothers, a group of women with children serving or having served in the military, teamed up with Maurices to assemble care packages for deployed soldiers of the 148th Fighter Wing Minnesota National Guard.

"As far as the care package project, I think it's really important for the morale of the service members when they are deployed," said Denise Guerra, the president of Minnesota Blue Star Mothers chapters.

Volunteers comprised of both Blue Star Mothers and Maurices employees surrounded tables holding piles of snacks, games and clothes; each person working part of the assembly line.

Close to 50 boxes were assembled and filled Friday, said Sara Lund, the Lake Superior chapter president.

ADVERTISEMENT

The gifts weren't just frisbees for entertainment or Propel packets used to flavor water. Many came with their own sentimental value that will help remind soldiers of home.

"Sometimes we include local magazines, or mothers will include their favorite cookies or bars. My son asked specifically for his favorite coffee from here," Lund said.

Lund started the Lake Superior chapter in 2008 when her son was serving in Afghanistan. She also has another son and daughter-in-law serving at the moment.

Currently 135 mothers and associates officially volunteer their time in Minnesota chapters, although more women are on the emailing list, show up for events and help out with community projects.

While those deployed initially reap the benefits of the care package contents, the mothers sending the gifts are awarded their own sense of gratification in the process.

"Having a child deployed is a very stressful experience for a mother, and sometimes the service members are right out of high school, so this is their very first time away from home," Lund said.

Having a place for moms to meet others going through the same experience can help with the transition, she said.

Minnesota has seven Blue Star Mothers chapters. The nonprofit corporation is made up of any female legal guardians who have children serving or have served in any branch of the military. The organization, which originated in 1942 during World War II before tapering off in the '60s, was reinvigorated after the events of 9/11. There are more than 200 chapters and 6,000 members abroad.

ADVERTISEMENT

While this is the first event Maurices has put on with Blue Star Mothers, the hope is the women's retail company can host more in the future.

"We have 11 family members or friends who are part of the 148th," said Bri Waldoch, who leads the Associate Volunteer Program for Maurices. "It's a really great way to support those abroad."

Related Topics: MAURICES
What to read next
Not much is known about the individuals, aside from authorities believing they are a family of Indian nationals, and part of a larger group apprehended in northern Minnesota, about 6 miles east of Pembina.
According to a release from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the bodies of an adult man, woman and infant were discovered at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The body of another male, believed to be a teenager, was discovered shortly thereafter. All of the victims were located approximately 40 feet from the U.S./Canada border.
The senator said that while he was privy to more details of the case, he could not provide specific details and referred further questions to Groszhans’ family.
Charles “Bud” Sedlachek was born in Jasper, Minnesota, in 1938, died of congestive heart failure in Brainerd at 83 on Jan. 3. The Crow Wing County farmer loved John Deere equipment, so a John Deere tractor led the funeral procession and he was buried in a custom-ordered John Deere casket.