A decade-long partnership between Soldiers' Angels and Keystone Soldiers is about to become even closer, with Keystone Soldiers set to become an official packing location for Soldiers' Angels.
Soldiers' Angels founder Patti Patton-Bader and Keystone Soldiers founder Kyle Lord both started supporting the troops in 2002. As military mothers on opposite coasts (Kyle in Pennsylvania and Patti in California at the time), they spent hours on the phone when neither could sleep--they would brainstorm, share tips and encourage each other as they worked to inspire others to support the troops.
Sharing a common vision for troop support, Soldiers' Angels and Keystone would help out over the years with needs the other organization couldn't fill. "We looked out for each other and helped each other along," Kyle says. "Patti and I don't care who gets credit for it. It's more about the troops and getting what they need than anything else."
Now Soldiers' Angels and Keystone will be working even more closely together. As Soldiers' Angels starts to shift to a stronger emphasis on helping veterans, Keystone is finding that donations for deployed troops continue to flow in while struggling with postage to ship those items. In a move that helps both organizations with their missions and ultimately helps the troops, Soldiers' Angels and Keystone will be working together to fill care package requests. Located close to the APO (East Coast) depot, Keystone can ship to military APO addresses for about half the cost of those further away. The organization recently moved out of their office building location and into donated warehouse space to smooth care package assembly and shipping processes. They will also have access to a loading dock for deliveries of larger quantities of donated items.
A small but hard-working organization, Keystone sends from 6500 to 10,000 Christmas stockings every year, as well as 100-200 care packages per month. They also assist military families in crisis with food donations that aren't appropriate for care packages--they open a "pantry" for struggling military families each month and give microwave meals, crackers and protein bars to a local VA representative who works with homeless veterans.
Soldiers' Angels has long prided itself in a willingness to work together with other military support organizations and this is an extension of that willingness. Together, Soldiers' Angels and Keystone will more efficiently support the troops, working side by side to ensure that truly, "No Soldier Goes Unloved."