By Phil Spadanuta
Jacob’s Light Foundation, a group of volunteers devoted to sending U.S. soldiers care packages since 2003, is looking for volunteers to be prepare its monthly drive, which includes collecting, sorting and shipping supplies to soldiers overseas, on Sunday June14. Necessities such as food, toiletries and batteries are collected and put into boxes for members of the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard.
The foundation was started by Dorine Kenney 11 days after her son, Jacob Fletcher, a paratrooper in the Army, was killed by a roadside bomb in Samara, Iraq on Nov. 13, 2003. Before his death, Jacob wrote a letter to his mother requesting her to send a care package to one of his friends who didn’t receive anything from home since being shipped off to war. Ever since sending that first box to Jacob’s friend, Kenney has continued to send supplies to soldiers in need of some comforts from home.
“It is amazing and heartwarming to hear back from them,” said Kenney, describing the outpouring of thanks from the soldiers as overwhelming.
Supplies sent over include a wide range of goods, but mostly they send necessities such as baby wipes and anti-fungal cream. They also feed those soldiers with a sweet tooth and send Girl Scout cookies.
The foundation sends about 9,000 lbs. of supplies to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan each month and has sent 279,000 lbs. worth of supplies since 2003. This task is by no means easy and that’s why Kenney needs as much help as she can get. Volunteers throughout Long Island are needed to help pick up the supplies from retailers, bring the goods to the Brentwood American Legion, sort them into individual boxes, load the boxes onto trucks and then bring the boxes to the Post Office. Volunteers include average Joes, the families of active and deceased soldiers, also known as Blue Star Families, retired fire fighters known as Fire Riders, The Veterans of Long Island as well as new police recruits.
Jacob’s Light Foundation can be found at 116 Nadia Ct., Port Jefferson. For more information, contact Dorine Kenney at email@example.com. People that don’t have time to volunteer and help the cause are encouraged to make donations via PayPal on the Jacobs Light website www.jacobsprogram.org.