It was not long after Arizona mother Kathleen Lewis started sending her son, John Christian Lewis, care packages as an infantryman in Iraq that she noticed a problem: No one was sending packages to his crewmates.
That’s when Lewis “rallied her closest friends and decided to ‘adopt’ Christian’s entire squad,” according to the website of Packages From Home, the Glendale charity she founded in 2004.
Packages From Home is a donor-sponsored organization that sends care packages of “food, hygiene and entertainment items to boost morale and quality of life.” The recipients must be active-duty military members serving overseas, as well as stateside veterans who need help transitioning back to civilian life.
Patriotic pride prompted John Christian Lewis to join the U.S. Army in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks that leveled the World Trade Center in New York City.
“I saw the towers go down and the next day I quit my job and went into the army recruiter and said, send me wherever I need to go to get these guys,” Sergeant Lewis recalled in a YouTube video sharing the nonprofit’s story.
Since its launch in 2004, Packages From Home has delivered more than 115,000 packages, including 282,000 pounds of “food, hygiene and recreation items,” according to its website.