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Saturday, August 16, 2014

After 65,000 care packages to soldiers, MooreMart celebrates 10-year anniversary

NASHUA – When Ted Luszey opened a crisp white envelope, he didn’t realize it would mark a moment in his life when he fully understood how he had made a difference in the life of a soldier.

The letter was brief, but stated that the care package the soldier had received from MooreMart was the first time he had ever received mail that wasn’t a bill. ...

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NASHUA – When Ted Luszey opened a crisp white envelope, he didn’t realize it would mark a moment in his life when he fully understood how he had made a difference in the life of a soldier.

The letter was brief, but stated that the care package the soldier had received from MooreMart was the first time he had ever received mail that wasn’t a bill.

Luszey is a dedicated member of MooreMart, which provides deployed soldiers with items that might make their stay in a foreign country a little bit easier, both physically and emotionally.

MooreMart has been serving soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004.

On Saturday, when a shipment of care packages goes out, the MooreMart team will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

The shipment will consist of about 1,100 packages, and will take three days and about 110 volunteers to prepare.

Although the shipment itself will be routine, the purpose of the 10th anniversary event will be to thank the hundreds of people who have supported, and who continue to support, MooreMart.

An hourlong ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the National Guard Armory, 154 Daniel Webster Highway South.

Luszey said plenty of officials from the area will attend to commemorate the humanitarian efforts of MooreMart, including Gov. Maggie Hassan, U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, and Maj. Gen. William N. Reddel III, of the National Guard.

For Luszey and the Moore family, the event will not only mark their success, but will also acknowledge all of the people and groups who have helped them over the years.

“It’s really about thanking them for their continued support,” Luszey said.

Volunteers and members of the original staff agree that the MooreMart operation wouldn’t be possible without all of the work of hundreds of volunteers.

Sharon Zeigler, a five-year volunteer, said MooreMart is “a special place. … It’s like your family.”

Volunteers such as
Zeigler are a crucial aspect of MooreMart’s success because the organization has grown so much over the years.

Since its inception, MooreMart has grown to the point where every shipment consists of 1,200-1,500 boxes sent directly to troops.

To date, MooreMart has shipped about 65,000 packages, or about 8 tons of supplies, to soldiers, Luszey said.

Because of the size of the operation, it now takes three days to get everything out the door and in the mail.

“We don’t reject anyone. … We take their name and they get a package,” Luszey said.

MooreMart will even create customized boxes for soldiers who request specific items that might make their stay a little bit more smooth.

MooreMart receives donation from families, communities and local businesses.

Luszey said the two most requested items are white socks and powdered drink mix.

“To receive a package … from a total stranger – it brings a little bit of home back to them,” Luszey said.

This is what makes MooreMart so valuable to Luszey: If he can help deployed soldiers feel more at home, then he has been successful.

Much like when Luszey received the letter from a soldier thanking him and MooreMart for their efforts, MooreMart’s 10th anniversary will be an affirming moment for all who participate and will show how large an impact a simple care package can have in the life of a soldier.