Something amazing has happened since I wrote a post on my Mrs. Lieutenant blog on December 23rd about a single soldier deployed in Kabul who was requesting donations of blankets to prevent Afghan children from actually freezing to death in the brutal winters.
In that post I mentioned that my husband had told me that Spirit of America was an American organization that supported efforts by U.S. personnel stationed in places like Afghanistan to help the civilian population. And I sent the blog post to Spirit of America after finding a contact email on the website.
A couple of days ago I got an email from the program director at Spirit of America saying that the organization was going to contact the soldier and send $300 worth of blankets. I was so excited that I wrote a second Mrs. Lieutenant blog post about this.
And then I got another email from the organization's executive director saying Spirit of America was increasing its donation to $1500 for blankets and the school supplies that the soldier now also requested. I have to admit my eyes filled with tears when I read this second email.
I wanted to share this generosity of Spirit of America with you, and to tell you that the soldier has now also requested gently used children's clothes. His return to the U.S. has been pushed back from April to September, so he'll be in Afghanistan longer and will have more time to help the people there.
Here's part of the email that the soldier -- Specialist Gerardo Llamas -- has just sent out to people interested in helping with his project:
I have partnered up with a great organization that is helping me get more donations as well as helping with shipping charges. You can see the ad they have posted for me here. They are great and hopefully I can reach a lot more people and make this project a huge one. I want it to make a huge difference in the lives of these people, the people of Afghanistan. If you are interested in helping by donating blankets, clothes or school supplies, you can do it directly through me, like before, or you can do it through Spirit of America.If you would like to help this effort, please go to the Spirit of America page for this project.