Kids & Family

Mom's Love for Her Son Turns Into Support for Hundreds of Troops

Making Christmas care packages for her son's unit four years ago is now a project that gathers her whole town to salute our troops.


Karen Cote missed her son when he was deployed to Kuwait in 2015. She'd send him care packages, a little "hug" from home. When she learned that many of his mates didn't get anything from family or friends, she knew she needed to do something.

That's how Hero Boxes got started. Over the past four years, Karen and her volunteers in Berlin, CT have sent over 600 Hero Boxes overseas, packed and mailed in time to arrive just before Christmas. The boxes are filled with basics, from toothbrushes and soap to sunscreen and lip balm that can be in short supply in remote deployments. The boxes also include extras like beef jerky, protein bars, playing cards and books. The effort has grown so much that Karen tells the Berlin Record-Journal , she hopes to send a record 500 packages this year.

"It just keeps getting bigger and bigger."

What started as one mom reaching out to her son and his friends has turned into a real community effort. Volunteers from all over the Berlin area will gather at the local VFW on November 9th, for "Giving Thanks to Our Troops" Saturday. There they'll wrap the items that go in the packages and write notes and cards of encouragement that will go inside each box.

Marine Cpl. Adam Revoir of Berlin got a Hero Box when he was deployed in Afghanistan and made this video so that everyone knows how much it meant:

For Karen Cote, Hero Boxes been a labor of love. It still makes her day to know she's making a difference in the life of a hero who's serving our country. "It's just been amazing... it just makes you feel good, as a military mom."

Want to help?�Here are some easy ways:

  • Volunteer: If you live in the Berlin area, stop by the VFW of New Britain, CT on November 9th from 11am-2pm to help pack.
  • Purchase items: just go to their Amazon Wish List page (click here ) and order items that will be shipped to the Hero Boxes storefront in time for the packing event.
  • Donate shipping: mailing the boxes is expensive. Click here to find out how to help pay for shipping.

Thanks for your service -- to the troops, and Karen and her crew. You're living the Sparkt mantra to #StartSomethingGood!

(Images & video: Hero Boxes Facebook page )

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