Chaz, my family and friends will tell you I don't sit still very well at all. I always have to be multitasking. Hey, it's my thing! The day Chaz was hurt, I was helping over see a total of 5 Girl Scout Troops as a Cluster Leader. I led one Junior troop. I was still heavily involved in our PTO. I was on the Parental Advisory and Zoning Boards for the school system. I was the Kappa Delta Clarksville Alumnae Shamrock Chair. While still running my own tax company and being a Pampered Chef Consultant. Yes I know I am crazy, but I truly love giving back and staying busy.
The only thing I kept after January 22 was my tax business and Pampered Chef. I have kept the PC down to a minimum. I love my PC and I just do enough to stay active. My tax business is my dream and there's no way I can give it up. I help way too many people by doing their taxes. People depend on my help and my heart gets filled by their appreciation.
Chaz and I have a deal. I will not add anything to my plate without discussing it with him. Which I kinda always have, but now I really do. Chaz and the girls need me more than anyone or anything. They will always be number one. Chaz is called to serve just like I am. We believe it paying it forward. We would not be this far down our journey without the help of others.
A few weeks ago Chaz got a call that his First Sargent wanted to meet with me. Chaz looked at me and said, "What did you do now?" Then we both talked about the new First Sargent and what I could have possibly done now. He told me to go play nice. So while Chaz was at PT, I walked into the First Sargent's office. I sat down and said, "What did my big mouth do now?" He then told me it isn't what your big mouth did, it's what I want it to do. He then explained to me how he wants to help his soldiers by helping their NMAs and Caregivers. He told me that he can only imagine what we are going through and how he wanted to help. He said they felt I was the perfect person to help them. So together we formed a plan.
Two days ago on November 1, we had our first NMA/Caregiver Resource Group. I am pleased to say it went extremely well!!! Our conference room was packed with people. We weren't expecting that many. So we now know we need a bigger room. It was a learning experience. The First Sargent and I shared with the group some of our knowledge and we listened to the group to learn what else was needed. We found out what the problems are and we're going to get them addressed!
When our soldiers leave the hospital they either discharge to Fisher House or Building 62. Fisher House is very self-sufficient but Bldg 62 is just the opposite. We have soldiers showing up to empty apartments with nothing!!! They can do to Red Cross for somethings, but the majority of it they would need to run to the store. Yes there's a PX & Commissary, but most of the NMAs are parents or siblings without DOD cards and therefore are denied the shopping privileges. They would need their soldier to go with them. Most of the guys are not in the shopping mood when they discharge from the hospital. Then they may or may not have a vehicle to go shopping. We all know that first haul to set up a new place is quite big and expensive and that's not what you want to bring in the Metro and cabs are too expensive. I, myself, cannot personally take everyone of them shopping. I wish I could, but I am so busy I just can't.
Here's where I need your help!! Do you have a contact that could provide some basic needs for setting up a first home? Please remember our soldiers are starting from scratch when they go outpatient. They need toliet paper, paper towels, all the linens you can think of, laundry baskets and laundry supplies, trash cans, coffee makers, toasters, silverware, plates, cups, salt & pepper and basic spices, cleaning supplies, some starter can goods and non-perishables, shampoo, conditioner, and the list goes on and on and on. I found out in Bldg 62 they all share 1 vacuum. Which is just crazy to me. So who do you know who can help?!
Operation Troop Aid is helping me work with Pampered Chef and Tupperware to get some kitchen and storage supplies in there, but who do you know who could help?! I am all ears!! Help me, help them!!! Operation Troop Aid is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and can provide IRS documentation upon request to make this all happen. Just shoot me contact information. We are trying to help 70 families. So any leads you have would be highly appreciated!! Thank you!!!