By Kia Croom
Mike and Marva Lyons. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, Black American Political Action Committee, BAPAC
A military support group called Their Angels, Inc. is providing aid to U.S. troops, each month preparing hundreds of care packages for soldiers who are stationed locally and abroad.
“We put together ‘civilian rations’ that the troops might enjoy such as undergarments, candy, clothes etc. We make sure we have enough handwritten letters and notes so that we can include them in the package,” said Marva Lyons, founder of the organization.
In addition to sending support and expressions of gratitude, Their Angels, Inc. also supports families of active duty military personnel.
Lyons established the organization in 2004 after her son James enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corp. She recalled sending James care packages and how thrilled he was to receive them. He urged her to prepare a few packages for other soldiers who lacked home support.
“It tugged at my heart strings to know that there were troops who had no support system. I began putting together packages with my own grocery money to bring smiles to troops,” Lyons said.
To date, the organization has shipped more than 50,000 care packages to military personnel in countries including Afghanistan and Iraq. The group currently supports USO Camp Marmal in Afghanistan, the USO San Francisco, San Jose and Travis Air Force Base and others.
Their Angels, Inc. also coordinates toy drives to benefit children of fallen military heroes and surviving families.
Each first Saturday of the month, staff and volunteers of the organization host packing event at 11 a.m. at Hillside Church of Christ, 3000 Hilltop Mall Road in Richmond. They put together hundreds of care packages for shipping.
Interested volunteers are encouraged to join the cause by donating their time or making charitable contributions. To learn more about Their Angels, Inc. visit www.theirangels.org.