Beyond FINESSE: Andi Grant, Founder, Give2TheTroops
A fellow Syracuse University grad, Andi has worked on a wide variety of fundraising and philanthropic projects in the U.S. and abroad. When her husband, U.S. Marine Sgt. Brian Grant, was sent to Iraq in 2002, Andi laid the groundwork for what is now Give2TheTroops. What began as a community effort in her Connecticut town, with donations piling up in her basement and volunteers—including her 10-year-old son, Ryan—helping her assemble care packages to ship to troops overseas, has now grown into an organization with chapters located across the country. This past June, Andi received the President’s Call to Service Lifetime Award for volunteering more than 80,000 hours to Give2TheTroops and other charities, and for inspiring others to engage in volunteer service.
I received an e-mail last night from Andi that made it clear how much she loves what she does. It also revealed the extent to which her work has a positive impact not only on the morale of the sholdiers who receive Give2TheTroops care packages, cards, and letters, but on the morale of soldiers’ family members here at home:
We’ve received more than 2,000,000 (2 million!) cards this month from the Letssaythanks.com program! Today I asked people at an oyster festival to sign the postcards (we had blank ones) and we received 1,000 signed ones! We are so excited and will be putting those cards in our care packages this month….
We are all ‘real’ people who REALLY care! We are community-driven and community-run—everyone is a volunteer. None of us is paid. And we like it that way! My husband looks like he will be going back and believe me, it is hard! I got him back safely the last time, but the not knowing and waiting is a killer and I spent the day crying with moms whose sons are going over and whose sons are over there. By the end of the day, I made so many new friends and gave these women HOPE and COMFORT knowing that we (who are strangers) love their sons and daughters and support them. I am so pooped, but my faith in America has been restored. We have the most selfless, loving people in this country and our troops are not feeling neglected thanks to them!
Have a great weekend! Love, Andi
Give2TheTroops care packages are ready to go, but it costs money to ship them. Show Andi and the soldiers she’s devoted to helping that you care, too, by going here to make a donation. It’s the least we all can do. That, and pray.