Wishing to brighten the day of the thousands of soldiers stationed overseas, residents of Waltonwood Cary Parkway, a premier senior living community, wrote heartfelt letters of gratitude and put together care packages for service men and women. The residents donated items such as sunscreen, deodorant, body wash, toothpaste and Chapstick, as well edible items such as granola bars, dried fruit and nuts because they are lightweight and easy to carry in their pockets. The community worked with NCPacks4Patriots, a nonprofit based in Ayden, North Carolina that provides a link between citizens and military personnel to deliver the packages. 

“We know this activity not only brightened the days of service members overseas, but the veterans who call Waltonwood Cary Parkway home as well,” said Matthew VanAuker, executive director. “The residents were excited to participate, and we know the items in the packages will be helpful and the heartfelt notes will put a smile on their faces. The work that NCPacks4Patriots does is amazing. We were looking for a North Carolina organization to partner with, and I knew we couldn’t go wrong with NCPacks4Patriots. We are proud to support our military and look forward to doing more activities in the future.”

There are a number of veterans living at the community who were excited to participate, including Nadine Whitmore. She became an Army nurse in 1948, then shortly after an Air Force nurse, which is where she got her wings. Whitmore says she joined the military because of her two brothers. One was in the Army and fought at the Battle of the Bulge and the other was in the Navy. Whitmore enjoyed the experience because her job offered a service to the country. Now she hopes that the items the community collected and the letters they’ve written leave an impact on service members overseas.

“It was an honor to collect donations that benefit the men and women who are serving our country,” said Whitmore. “These items are handy necessities that will go a long way for our troops. As a retired military member, I hope the young soldier who receives the letter I write is encouraged by it. Letters are life savers. You can hold onto it and it fills a special place in your heart. When I was in the military I didn’t receive many packages for myself, but when I returned home I did send packages to my husband. I know they left an impact on him. We collected items most of the month, so it was great to put the packages together and see just how much we are able to give back.”

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