Local non-profit spreads big holiday cheer in small packages

The Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina were joined by community volunteers to make and ship care packages to our military overseas on Sunday.

Around 150 "Hero Boxes", were packed tight with food, stockings filled with candy, and other supplies for the service men and women who will not be around to see or spend time with their families around the holidays.

Anne Leimbach, president of the Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina, said this has been one of the biggest "Hero Box" shipments and largest volunteer turnouts since the chapter was formed in 2008.

"They're just missing so much. Many of them have children and they can't hold their children, and take their children to see Santa Claus, and have family dinners. This is just a small box of home and love," Leimbach said.

The group isn't all mothers. Ryan Dion, 13, is one of many who won't be able to see his mother on Christmas since she will be serving in Korea. She serves as a medic with the United States Army.

Dion has been participating in making and shipping these care packages over the past two years. He told WPDE NewsChannel 15 he enjoys personalizing the care packages he makes for his mother by putting her favorite treats in there.

"When she gets it, she knows that it came from you. She knows that it really came from somebody who loves her," Dion said.

Although Dion has been a part of this experience before, Kelly Corean is new to it. After her son was deployed to the Middle East in September, she became a member of the Blue Star Mothers.

On Sunday, Corean documented the experience on her phone by taking pictures of the boxes being made and shipped so her son could have something to look forward to.

After Sunday, she plans to be apart of many more experiences like these in the future.

"This is something I'll do every year for as long as I'm able to do it, and I've already made some great new friends, and I'm proud to be a part of this," Corean said.

This is one of many times the Blue Star Mothers send out care packages over the course of the year.

To learn more about the chapter and their community efforts, click here.