A small project that started on a kitchen floor back in 2004, has evolved into something much bigger; VT Supports. It's a community effort that sends gift boxes to soldiers overseas.
Nicquelle Timson helped launch the project and has transformed it into what it is today. Every year, hundreds of boxes are mailed to troops stationed in war zones. They are filled with snacks, socks, gloves, toiletries and even baked beans.
“I think it's really important for the community to have an opportunity to thank those soldiers that are still over there,” said Timson.
Kaylynn Pinsonneault helps pack the boxes every year. She also contributes in a different way. Her school let her put on fundraisers in support of the event and she adds some hand crafted flair for some lucky troops.
“This year I made homemade scarves. They’re not here with their families for the holidays and so it's good to try and give them a piece of home when they're not here,” Pinsonneault said.
522 care packages, and 15 Christmas trees with decorations were sent to 15 different units serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa. It's the group's biggest shipment to date.
“It's not about me, it's not about these volunteers in the red and the blue. It's about the people that come every year to pack the boxes,” said Timson.
VT Supports hopes to eventually have the boxes filled with only products from Vermont. They are already looking for Vermont made products for next year’s shipment.