JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Positively Jax drive is supporting our troops and all the military families who visit Jacksonville. All last month, News4Jax with the help of Memorial Hospital and all of you, collected snacks and personal care items to stock the USO Welcome Center at Jacksonville International Airport.
"It really does mean a lot that people are supporting us. I mean, we're just out there to do a job and you guys are just amazing helping us out as far as providing this stuff for us and we're really grateful for it-we really are," said Timothy Kidwell, Petty Officer 3rd class at NAS JAX.
People all over the River City came together with one goal - to lift the spirits of our troops and their families at the USO Welcome Center at Jacksonville International Airport. Memorial Hospital stopped by News4Jax Thursday morning to collect the items you donated to our Positively Jax collection drive.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for our employees to volunteer and get engaged with the community and of course, help the USO and all the military families," said Peter Moberg, the Vice President of Marketing at Memorial Hospital.
Memorial Hospital teamed up with News4Jax to support our troops by collecting snacks and travel-size personal care items to donate to military travelers who visit the USO Welcome Center at Jacksonville International Airport.
A total of 8,181 items were donated—that's close to 200 more items than last year. This makes a big difference because the USO is 100% self-funded and relies entirely on donations.
After a truckload of supplies, the almost-empty shelves at the center will now be re-stocked and it will be a picture of love and support for those who fight for our country.
"They don't have the money for the extras... meaning a Coke or a snack at the airport. It's kind of expensive for them so what they do is come see us and sit down and have a coke, and it's nice place for them to wait," said Jim Bury, the USO Center Director.
USO Executive Director Mike O'Brien is also grateful to people who support the center- which he says is like a home away from home. "They know when they're at the USO- whether it's here in Jacksonville at the airport or whether it's abroad, that they have a place to come and relax and connect with their families. In many cases, it's being where they're going to get a warm greeting and hello and a thank you, and appreciation to their service in our country."
Thanks to you and your generosity the USO can now bring more supplies and more smiles to the military and their families. Simple things like a bottle of water or a candy bar; things that we take for granted can mean so much more to the military and their families when they come by. So thank you for your support.
If you'd still like to donate, you can find out more information here: http://jaxuso.org/