TN mother starts care package campaign for deployed soldiers - WSMV Channel 4

TN mother starts care package campaign for deployed soldiers

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Susan Bailey Susan Bailey
CELINA, TN (WSMV) -

Nothing compares to a mother's love, and in one Midstate town, a mother's act of service has changed an entire community.

It all began when she realized her son, who is stationed in Afghanistan, was missing a lot of things from home.

Susan Bailey's love for her son, William, is overflowing, from the flag outside to the dog tags around her neck.

What she did to help is now impacting soldiers from across the nation.

"I've got a picture of a little boy that's got a backpack, and it's true, you see your baby that's leaving," Susan Bailey said.

Army Pfc. William Bailey deployed to Afghanistan in February, and it's hard for everyone in Celina to have him away from home.

The small town has lost two soldiers in the Middle East in recent years.

"A friend lost her son, I think, in '06, and all that really touched the community," Susan Bailey said.

In the many Skype conversations with her son, Susan Bailey said she learned the busy soldiers aren't getting all the comforts of home they need.

"So I'm thinking my son's starving, and that's when I started, right then. Two the next day, three the next day," Susan Bailey said.

At one point, the mother was sending her son care packages every day and sometimes more than one box.

But it was one conversation in which William Bailey asked his mom something that changed everything.

"He sent me a message that said, 'Can you start sending packages to my buddies and not me?' And I asked if they were getting anything, and he said no. He said, 'On mail day I'm the only one not asking do I have mail today?'" Susan Bailey said.

She did what her son asked and people started noticing. When she told them what she was doing, they started donating.

Now, every grocery store and school in Celina has green donation boxes, and Susan Bailey is taking names of new soldiers to support.

It takes 15 to 30 days for each box to arrive in Afghanistan, and since the shipping alone costs just over $15, the boxes are packed to the brim.

"We pack all the big things in first - Pringles and chow mein noodles, shower in a box," Susan Bailey said.

The soldiers also need toiletries for warm and cold weather.

"What I keep hearing is they stink, so we're sending a lot of room deodorizers. That helps," she said.

Susan Bailey also reached out to the local schools, encouraging kids to send cards they can include in the care packages.

It's an act of love by one mom that's become a community movement.

"I wanna keep this going. I know there are going to be a lot more soldiers over there that will need stuff," she said.

If you want to get involved in sending a care package to a soldier, or if you want to submit the name of a soldier in need, see contact information here: http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wsmv/addresslist.docx.

And for a list of items the soldiers have requested in their care packages, click here: http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wsmv/deployitems.docx.

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