WILMINGTON, MA () - U.S. military soldiers serving in Afghanistan will soon receive two seven-foot-tall pallets of "care packages" courtesy of UniFirst employees. The packages, filled with snack foods, toiletries, clothing, games, and other needed supplies, are a result of UniFirst Corporation's "Thanks from Home" collection and donation program.
UniFirst, a leading supplier of uniforms and work wear to businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada, developed the troop support program last year in partnership with MooreMart, a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting and sending supplies on an ongoing basis to U.S. soldiers serving in the Middle East.
The UniFirst program is a nationwide, grassroots effort involving more than 200 company locations that collect donations from employee Team Partners, vendors, and nearby community members.
This year, the soldiers slated to receive the UniFirst packages are based in Afghanistan and are members of the New Hampshire-based 237th Military Police Company and the II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). The 237th is currently providing military security and mentoring the Afghanistan National Police in the southern province of Khost, while the Marine Force is based at Camp Leatherneck in the eastern province of Helmand, where it serves as a quick-deploy air-and-ground fighting group.
The UniFirst "Thanks from Home" program was started by UniFirst Senior Vice President Michael Croatti as a way to demonstrate the company's ongoing gratitude for the sacrifices U.S. soldiers make while serving overseas. "They're putting everything on the line for us, and this is just one small way we can show our thanks and let them know we're thinking of them."
Croatti said he was overwhelmed by the generosity shown by the UniFirst employees and friends who made donations this year. "The patriotic outpouring was astonishing and wonderful to see," Croatti said. "It's a tangible demonstration of the caring family culture we have within our company and our staff—one that's obviously shared by our vendors and neighbors when it comes to supporting our military."
Donations received for this year's program were about three times those of last year, Croatti said. Once delivered to the corporate office, nearly 100 UniFirst employees stepped forward and volunteered their time to help pack what turned out to be more than 300 individual "care packages." After two designated pallets were filled for delivery to MooreMart, a surplus of donations still remained. That overflow, Croatti said, is now being earmarked for distribution to other military units serving in the Middle East.
UniFirst (NYSE: UNF), a North American leader in the supply and servicing of uniforms, workwear, and protective clothing, outfits more than 1.5 million workers each business day. The company's most popular brands include UniWeave®, SofTwill®, UniWear®, and Armorex FR®. UniFirst also offers Facility Service programs including floor mats, mops, and restroom products. For more information, contact UniFirst at 800-455-7654 or visit unifirst.com.