Helping Our Troops
Stoneham, MassachusettsĀ  U.S.A.

About Us

H.O.T.
COMMUNITY SPONSORS


ST. PATRICK'S PARISH
STONEHAM, MA

FRIENDS OF
 ST. ANTHONY'S PARISH
WOBURN, MA

BILLERICA COUNCIL ON AGING

BLUES FOR VETERANS ASSOCIATION

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About UsFrank J. Geary, H.O.T. Co-Founder & Vietnam Veteran


The
Helping Our Troops
program started out as a simple conversation between two Vietnam Veterans from Stoneham, Massachusetts;  Frank Geary and
Walter Kopek. 


As war veterans they knew first hand what our soldiers would be experiencing mentally, physically and emotionally. These two veterans
 also remembered how they felt receiving packages
from home during
their darkest days of the Vietnam War and wanted to ensure the
younger generation
now serving in "Iraqi and Enduring Freedom" Walter Kopek, H.O.T. Co-Founder & Vietnam Veteran
were well taken care of.
   


Mr. Kopeks son has served 2 tours of duty with the U.S. Army.

 
"Support from home is what keeps a soldier grounded.  I know how I felt when my  first package arrived and I'll never forget what it meant to me.  It's our job to ensure every soldier knows we are thinking of them while they are away from home."   ~ Frank Geary,  Vietnam Veteran
                                                    
                                                                                             

In November of 2006 Helping Our Troops was offically introduced to the community.  The Vietnam Veterans of America (Fitzgibbon/McMahon Chapter 837) and the VFW Post 620 (S/Sgt. George Hall) of Stoneham, Massachusetts banded together with families and friends of local soldiers to show their support.  Word quickly spread throughout surrounding towns uniting our entire community as a support force for our troops here on the home front.  


Local supermarkets, businesses and elementary schools from surrounding towns joined in to show their support by allowing donation bins in their establishments.  While some collected goods for the troops others made monetary donations.  Every dollar collected helped defer exorbitant shipping costs that started out in 2006 at $1,200 each month that have since escalated to $2,000.  Every person participating in this program has made a difference and for that we are very grateful!


The H.O.T. Program has  far exceeded our expectations over the past ten years and as a community sponsored program  we proudly reflect on those accomplishments...  

>Local Cable and Community Access Channels are now broadcasting the H.O.T. Program throughout our community helping spread the word of our mission to support the troops.


Hanscom Air Force Base, June 26, 2009...H.O.T. President, Frank Geary recognized for H.O.T. Program >Hanscom Air Force Base, Bedford, Massachusetts has recognized H.O.T. as an intricate supporter to our military service personnel.  In June the H.O.T. Program received an honorary plaque at Hanscom Air Force Base annual Homecoming Hero's Celebration.

>Fox 25 News, Boston hi-lights H.O.T. and the local Massachusetts soldiers we support.

>July 2015 - H.O.T. passes the 75 ton marker of goods shipped overseas supporting thousands of military service personnel serving our country.

>" OPERATION HOLIDAY HEROES' " has become an annual event with Helping Our Troops.  Volunteers gather from all over to help prepare holiday packages for our troops.  The Adopt-A-Box Program helps raise funds as-well-as goods for our holiday shipments overseas.  Support for our troops comes full force from all directions of Massachusetts during the holiday season.  Knitting groups lovingly craft knitted caps to keep our soldiers in the colder regions warm along with prayer squares to protect them during deployment.  Schools across the state collect good to help fill the packages.  We are grateful for the support we have received during the holiday season...you continue to amaze us!

Helping Our Troops 
has many people to thank within the community for keeping  this program running full steam ahead over the past 10 years, especially the members and volunteers...your commitment and dedication has made this mission so successful.

Many local businesses and organizations alike have made generous donations keeping us afloat.  Unfortunately, the economy has hit everyone these days and our large donations have dwindled.  We continue to stay positive and move forward with our chin up.  The public has always come through for us assisting in any way they can whenever we are in need.  We have many heroes among us that help us meet our goals somehow and we are forever grateful for their continued support to our program.



HELPING OUR TROOPS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Frank J. Geary, President

Beverly DeVirgillio, Executive Director

Rebecca Gardner, Treasurer

• • •

Carol Buonopane, Board Member

Lisa Dente, Board Member

Cheryl Vinci Hollander, Board Member

Walter Kopek, Board Member

Stephanie Milotzky, Board Member

Diane Scinto, Board Member

____________________________________________________________________

CONTACT INFORMATION

Helping Our Troops (Massachusetts)

P.O. Box 80187

Stoneham, MA  02180

Phone:  781.507.5600

Email:  helpingourtroopsma@gmail.com

www.helpingourtroopsma.com

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