AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - FOX 54 is joining forces with Operation Handwarmer to send care packages to our troops overseas filled with things that keep their hands warm and hearts full. But we need your help!
“When you receive those care packages, you open them up and it really brings a smile to your face.” After two deployments in Afghanistan, Operation Handwarmer spokesperson Melvin Speight is thankful for the little things in life. “Having those handwarmers, whether you’re putting them in your hand, in your gloves or you’re putting them in your boots, or your feet, sometimes you put them inside your uniform. Wherever you need them at, it really helps.”
To Melvin, those hand warmers aren’t so little when you’re 8,000 miles away from home, working 18-hour days in the elements, conducting life or death missions. In 2016, a simple care package changed his life. Inside was a letter from an elementary school student that touched his heart. “It was just a long day, I’d seen some things that really got under me."
Things the former intel officer isn’t at liberty to discuss, he instantly felt understood. Just a couple of sentences made all the difference; all inside a box from Operation Handwarmer. Two years, a retirement and career change later, Melvin works with the organization to make sure other deployed servicemembers can feel the same way.
The group was founded in 2009 right here in Augusta by Burt Sappenfield. He says he never served in the military, so it’s his way to give back. “We don’t want to forget about them. We’ve got people serving our country in 72 countries. A lot of special operations. They come out of Fort Campbell, Fort Bragg out of California. We help them all.”
And they need your help. You can give handwarmers, beef jerky, protein snack bars, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, cashews, trail mix, powder drink mix (all in small individual packages), small flashlights, playing cards, AA & AAA batteries, magazines (cars, sports, mechanics, etc), black fleece sock, and hats (no colors please).
You can drop off your donations at any one of these locations:
- Larry Miller Century 21 Realty
- iHeart Radio
- FOX 54
- Vapor Hut
- Howard’s Appliance Center
- Aiken Motorcycle
- Timms Harley-Davidson
You can also shop online and have the package shipped directly to Century 21 Larry Miller Realty c/o Operation Handwarmer.