Residents and staff members at Hickory, NC-based Affinity Living Group sent 142 care packages for members of the armed forces in November and December. The company began the holiday tradition seven years ago.

“This cause means a lot to us,” said ALG Director of Human Resources Analisa Bragg, who has coordinated the effort with her team since 2011. “We care for many residents who are veterans, and many of our staff members have served. We also have employees with family members away on active duty. They know what it means to a soldier to get that care package and know someone back home was thinking of them.”

Each November, residents and staff members at several of ALG’s senior living communities and the home office collect snacks, candies, toiletries, magazines, books, games and other items that are popular with soldiers. Everyone also is invited to include holiday cards or letters of appreciation and encouragement. Bragg’s team members then gather the hundreds to thousands of donated items and fill each care package with a variety of necessities and extras.

The first packages were shipped the week after Thanksgiving. As of Dec. 10, all 142 boxes had been shipped and were on track to arrive before Dec. 25. Some care packages already have been received by service members in Afghanistan and Kuwait.

The tradition of sending care packages began when the daughter of ALG CEO Charlie Trefzger served in the Army in Iraq.“Having a daughter in the 82nd Airborne provided a unique perspective on how much every soldier sacrifices during their service,” Trefzger said. “We wanted to show our appreciation for the troops and give back.”

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