Lee Health military support sends love to troops overseas
Step inside Lee Health’s Military Support closet and let Kim Gaide show you how she’s using this space to send love from Florida to our troops overseas.
“Welcome to the Military Support closet. We have been in existence since 2003. I started when President Bush called the war and we noticed that our Florida guardsmen and service members were disappearing as they were called to service,” Gaide said. “We started sending care boxes May of 2003, so this area here are our donations.”
She sends supplies like food, candy, sunscreen, toothbrushes, soap and card games to deployed military members every month and, since starting her military support effort in 2003, Gaide’s group has now packed and shipped out almost 90,000 pounds of care boxes mailed to more than 1,700 service members.
“We’re probably closer to about 18, 19 hundred now of our local men and woman, Collier, Charlotte, Lee County,” she said.
Across the room, piles and piles of scrubs that Lee Health can no longer use, thousands of them, find a new purpose.
“We are recycling all of those scrubs and we’re making the blankets and the pillowcases out of them, as well as all the children’s hospital scrubs, a lot of them are gonna be made into teddy bears so they can go back to the children at Golisano,” Gaide said. “Crochet and knitters make us blankets and we give these to all of our veterans and active duty and first responders if we know that they have had a new baby.”
There are also cabinets full of cards for every occasion. Some will wish service members a happy birthday, other holiday cards will be sent weeks in advance so troops can send love back home.
“So, we do whatever we need to do,” Gaide said, whatever they need to do to let Southwest Florida’s brave men and women know their thought of and appreciated.
Gaide’s group is in need of more sewers to help transform those scrubs into pillowcases and blankets. They also welcome donations they can send to troops overseas and coupon clippings they send to military families.