Family adopts 41 soldiers for Christmas - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Family adopts 41 soldiers for Christmas

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(Toledo News Now) -

What started as an idea to adopt a soldier overseas has grown into much more for a local Toledo family. They are now sending more than 40 care packages to service men and women abroad for Christmas.

"If it wasn't for our community, we probably wouldn't be able to do it," said Debra Morales-Richards.

She says this was all made possible through the help of other Toledo residents.

"I've never looked at Toledo as so strong until now, until this moment," she said. "This is really what people would do for somebody."

It started when Morales-Richards' daughter Emilee came home from school one day asking if they could adopt a soldier for the holidays. When they tried to do so, the family accidentally adopted an entire platoon. And because they can't say no, they adopted a few others along the way.

They are now up to 41 service men and women, and they're sending care packages for each. The packages are filled with snacks, toiletries, socks, shirts and even pictures and letters.

"They love to see pictures, of just people making cookies or somebody playing in the snow because it's what they're not doing and it's what they want to know that's going on," Morales-Richards said.

But they still have a long way to go. The items they have are just not enough, and they're still in need of treats, hygiene products, cards and even boxes to send them in.

"Every time something comes in, we take a picture of it," said Morales-Richards. "We cannot thank people enough. We want people to know we appreciate what Toledo has done for us."

To donate to the project, visit their Facebook page, email Emilee, or call her at 419-514-2704.

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