At a recent conference, Teamsters Local 769 Business Agent David Renshaw was introduced to a wonderful way of giving back to our brave soldiers. Those who have and those who continue to serve the United States of America in all branches of the armed forces. The organization is called iPods for wounded veterans and it was formed in August of 2010 by Paul Cardello, a US Air Force Veteran who also retired after 35 years as a Teamster from TLU 170 of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Teamsters Local 769 is proud to pledge our support to this great cause. This organization secures sponsorship to collect iPods, iPads, eReaders, Nooks, Bose headphones and other materials for our wounded veterans. Their class A security clearance allows them to personally deliver these gifts to the military and wounded veterans and interact with the soldiers and their families one-on-one.
Through the iPods for Wounded Veterans, there is a Dear Soldier program in which children in the 1st through 12th grades, from different schools, write letters to the wounded soldiers in the Walter Reed military medical center and the Fort Belvoir hospital. These letters consist of children thanking soldiers for their service and also include Christmas cards that the students made. In regards to the Dear Solider program, David Renshaw was asked, and accepted with great honor, to personally deliver the letters that were collected from Broward, Dade and the City of Key West. We collected and delivered over 1,400 thank you letters and Christmas cards from the children along with handmade Afghan blankets made by retirees and veterans from the American Legion – Post 157 in Margate, Florida.
Between Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7, 2013, David and other representatives from the iPods for Wounded Veterans program delivered over 5,000 thank you letters and Christmas cards from children of all ages across the United States, 1,500 assorted magazines and over 430 electronic items. “During these two days we had the pleasure of spending quality time with the soldiers and their families.”, David said. The average age of the soldiers in these hospitals ranges from 21-25 and they suffer from many different types of injuries, including multiple amputations and PTSD. ”As we were there thanking them for their service and sacrifice, they pause and thanked US for taking the time to remember them and their families.” ,explained David. ”The expression on a soldier’s face when they receive and read the letters from the children is something that I will never forget.” The letters are received with the utmost gratitude by our soldiers, and these letters give them such joy, coming from children they don’t even know, but they appreciate them for the kindness in each of their hearts.
All of us here at Teamsters Local 769 are extremely proud of our brother, David Renshaw. This was an emotional and heartfelt endeavor and he has done so much to represent all of us in Local 769 in such a positive way. We are also grateful for all those who contributed to the Dear Soldier campaign. Unfortunately, as the battle continues overseas, there will be a continuous need for an organization of this nature, both now and into the future. This will be an ongoing project for all of us here at Teamsters Local 769. We pledge continued support for our veterans as well as assisting others in spreading the word about this program so it may continue giving back to our brave soldiers. They have so selflessly given so much of themselves for us that we may enjoy the freedoms that we have, so stay tuned as Teamsters Local 769 will have another Dear Soldier campaign in 2014 along with other Human Rights Commission events.
If you would like additional information please contact:
Business Agent/Human Rights Commission