Happy Holidays A World Away

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vtsupportsSAINT JOHNSBURY - The holidays are a time of celebration, but it can be difficult if a loved one is thousands of miles away, battling brazen enemies in a hostile environment.

That’s where VT Supports comes in. The non-profit organization was started back in 2004, and their mission is simple: to send care packages to overseas troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. These feature local Vermont products, candy, toiletries, and anything that can help give a lift to the military.

“It’s gone from twenty boxes the first year, to this”, said Niquelle Fortin, the organizations president. “It was actually started by a lady at my church, when her son called and said ‘Mom, we need some morale.”

This year, area residents answered the organizations call for volunteers, and according to event coordinators, the turnout was great. Hundreds of care packages were stuffed at the St. Johnsbury Elks Club on Saturday morning. 

“The fact that there are people that walk through the door that don’t know anyone over there but they’re moved by what we’re doing; it’s just really amazing,” said Denelle Noyes, VT Supports treasurer.

For many involved, the charity has a personal meaning, including Fortin. "In 2009 my husband was killed in Iraq. We decided to make it a non-profit to make it one step better", she said. "The community has a huge heart (if you can't tell), and they love it. Once you come you'll come every year."