NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A local nonprofit that sends care packages to service members is taking on a new mission during the coronavirus pandemic: sending medical essential kits to healthcare heroes.
Every year, Norfolk-based Troopster sends thousands of care packages to men and women serving overseas.
“Troopster is essentially the Amazon of military care packages,” said founder Chelsea Mandello.
Mandello launched the nonprofit five years ago. In that time, they’ve sent 12,000 care packages to men and women serving our country.
“I can’t tell you the impact that a care package has,” Mandello said.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Mandello realized the nonprofit had the tools to help: a warehouse and shipping systems in place. She set a goal to send 50,000 care packages to health care heroes across the country.
“Getting a package like this, whether it’s a medical essential kit or a care pack, it means the world to know that others are taking care of you and others are thinking of you,” she said.
The kits include things like masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, protein bars and more. Mandello says the first shipment, which will stay local, will go out in the next few weeks.
“We are going to pack them in the warehouse, utilizing our facility and our capabilities to send our first batch of 600 out,” she said.
However, the nonprofit needs help. They need to raise $1.1 million to purchase supplies and pay for the shipping of these kits.
It’s a big goal, but Mandello knows the work will be worth it.
“I just hope that they feel as though they know they are getting taken care of, that someone cares for them and that we really care about their well-being,” Mandello said.
Mandello says they will take safety precautions when making the care packages.
If you’d like information on how to help, donate money or donate supplies, you can visit Troopster’s website.
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