April 21, 2014
I Care: Sharing a little bit of home

LS I CARE TROOPS 2.jpg Scott Raab reaches into a bin full of candy and grabs a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans with a message of good will on the package printed in Arabic and Pashto. It's known as "candy diplomacy" and it reads, "A gift from the American people in hope that your country will one day enjoy the freedom and opportunities that we have in the United States." It's for troops deployed in Afghanistan to share with the local children if they choose. He adds the candy to a parcel full of other items including coffee, beef jerky, sunscreen, hand wipes, and powdered Gatorade - along with a personal message of gratitude. As outreach director with Move America Forward, a Sacramento-based military charity with a year-round care package program, Raab and other volunteers met their goal of sending out 1,000 Easter packs to U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan. A Navy combat veteran, Raab remembers the impression it made on him to receive a care package when he was deployed in the Persian Gulf. "The feeling you get knowing there's a perfect stranger out there caring about you makes the biggest impact," he said. "You remember what it's like to be home."


For more information, go to moveamericaforward.org or call (916) 441-6197, ext. 314.

April 21, 2014
I Care: World War II Group still supports vets

LS I CARE BLUE 2.jpg Still soaked from working in the rain, Vivienne Yamamoto gives a warm hug to Charles Saunders, after spending the day making repairs to his Roseville mobile home. The 90-year-old Marine veteran, who fought at the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, needed help preparing his home to sell. Saunders said he was grateful but also a little embarrassed to be on the receiving end of assistance when Yamamoto and others with the Sacramento Blue Star Moms, a veteran service organization, showed up to give support. They held an estate sale for him and made improvements to his home, like tearing out old carpeting, pruning overgrown shrubbery, and prepping the exterior for new siding. Originally formed by mothers during World War II, women in the local chapter send care packages to deployed troops throughout the year. "It's really to give honor to our veterans and to acknowledge their service," says Yamamoto. "As a society, we owe it to them."


For more information go to: http://www.sacramentobluestarmoms.org/