VAN BUREN (KFSM)—A local veteran is paying it forward to the men and women serving in the military. Cheryl Norton has started a campaign to send coffee to troops at no cost.
“We always say ‘thank you for your service,’ but that's not enough, so I can't do a lot but I can send them coffee,” Norton said.
Norton joined the Army in 1980 and served overseas in Germany, which has left a lasting impression on her life.
“When I got out of the military, I started driving a truck, and I've been driving trucks since ’89,” she said.
She said today’s military members serve in a much different environment.
“We’ve been fighting in a war for 15 years,” she said. “We just got the word yesterday they’re going to send another 500 troops to Iraq.”
Norton said sitting behind the wheel of a truck gives her time to think, and that is when the idea of sending coffee to troops came to her.
“Here`s the goal, let`s send out 100,000 samples, or 100,000 actual packages to soldiers abroad or here at home that are active duty, and we want to get that done before the next Veterans Day,” she said.
To make that a reality, Norton got help from Stephanie Nugent building a website called SendASip.org.
“She had this great idea,” Nugent said. “My dad was in the military, and I think it was that and her passion for the idea that prompted me to get involved.”
“We`re putting boxes together now,” Norton said. “If you go on the website, you can tell us what they want. If they want hot chocolate, teas, whatever it is, they can do that and send out that order form.”
The website just launched on Tuesday (July 12). Norton said the coffee will be shipped within two weeks.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help Norton offset some of the costs of her campaign.