This girl is H.O.T. – Helping Our Troops, that is. Kristen Maddox, 21, started off supplying one box of items to troops in Iraq/Afganistan via e-mail and has now started a non-profit to continue doing the same thing:
Unlike organizations that send out goods en masse to troops unsolicited, Maddox takes personal requests, mostly via e-mail, from soldiers, Marines and other U.S. troops abroad. She hunts down the coveted items at Costco, Smart & Final and other stores, and ships the goods directly.
So far, Helping Our Troops has shipped 430 boxes. Each package, including contents, costs about $25 to $50 to send – money that so far has mostly come from Maddox’s own bank account.
Requests usually number between 25 and 50 a week, but on a recent weekday, 61 came in – from a platoon of Marines in Fallujah.
“She’s one of those people that if something needs to be done, she’s like, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” said Madeleine Maddox, who gave up a career as a legal secretary to raise Kristen and her brother, Michael, 18.
Want to get involved?
To make donations online, visit www.helpingourtroops.com, or mail a check to:
Helping Our Troops Inc.
P.O. Box 10298
Santa Ana, CA 92711-0298.