HASTINGS, Mich., -- Shaunee Williams said it started with an idea to cheer up those who serve our country during the holidays. As the wife of an Air Force veteran, she wanted to show the troops she appreciated their service and sacrifice.
"It's really important for them to feel special, especially around the holidays, because it's so hard for them to be away," Williams told FOX 17 News. ""My main goal is to make a soldier smile."
Williams took the idea to Facebook, creating an event page called "Holiday Letters For The US Soldiers". The page quickly gained fans and support, as the effort grew from not only cards, to care packages. Williams and her husband have received hundreds of items in the mail to ship overseas and the packages continue to come in.
She's even created a "Go Fund Me" account to help cover the shipping costs. So far, more than $600 dollars has been raised.
"I did three deployments away from my family over there and during the holidays it's really hard," her husband, RJ Williams said."When you get care packages and you get things like that in the mail, even from people you don't know, it really makes it easier and helps brighten your day...I'm glad she did it, I couldn't be more proud of her."
Williams plans to continue to collect cards and items for care packages through October 25th. She plans to ship the boxes out on November 1st. She's currently taking names of service members who are or will be deployed this winter to send a care package to.
To suggest someone to send a box to, or to learn more and donate, click here.