Military mom on a mission to bring joy to soldiers during holidays

November 30, 2018 07:47 PM

Inside the Maplewood Mall, volunteers worked Friday shortly after the doors opened to stuff care packages for Minnesotans serving in the military overseas.

It’s an idea that was started more than 12 years ago by Teresa Ash, who had a son serving overseas in the armed forces.


“It's the gratitude when you turn around and look at these people,” said Ash. “I can't do this alone, I couldn't do this alone."

But this year, someone stole from the group as they were gathering supplies.

"This year was a sad time, we had some items that were taken, that were packed away," Ash said.

This military mom, who is also a veteran herself, knows volunteers will continue to help them reach their goal to send boxes to 1,600 Minnesotans serving the country.

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The Shop, Ship, and Share event continues on Saturday at the mall starting at 10 a.m., with a color guard event at 2 p.m. The group is still in need of care package items to ship out.

“It's nothing better when you are overseas and you get a box from somebody you don't know,” said Jim, a veteran himself,  who was stuffing boxes. “That's the bottom line, for us that are vets, we served with some people who never got a thing - nothing."

The American Legion helps cover the shipping costs for the care packages, and many members and auxiliary members volunteered for the box packing event.

"It's so great to see all these people who come and volunteer," said 89-year-old Mary Ann Davis, who helps address the care packages.

Ash said she is thankful to the volunteers, American Legion and Maplewood Mall for their help in the event.

There’s a message Ash said her husband taped to an old ammo box the group uses to collect donations that brings her joy.

"This where we take donations, he put a very important statement on the back. 'America without her soldiers would be like god without his angels,'" Ash said.

"That's us."

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Eric Chaloux

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