Operation Homefront, military families and local volunteers teamed up to take part in the President’s call to service during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend. On Saturday July 25, Operation Homefront hosted a project to prepare care packages for deployed service members and back-to-school backpacks for New York’s military children.
Cooperstown, NY is the birthplace of baseball, and this service project took place in historic Doubleday Field. Operation Homefront encouraged baseball fans and townspeople to take a moment and serve by writing a personal note and packing a care package loaded with items generously donated by the Baseball Hall of Fame and Dollar Tree.
Operation Homefront set up a care package and backpack packing tent during the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction weekend ceremony honoring the 2009 inductees, Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice and the late Joe Gordon. With the help of ballplayers, baseball fans, Cooperstown Mayor Waller and many other Cooperstown locals over 300 care packages for area service members and 200 backpacks for military children were packed.
While in Cooperstown, Operation Homefront collected addresses from the Baseball Hall of Fame’s employees who have relatives serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The care packages were mailed to these recipients in addition to other New Yorkers currently deployed. In addition the Baseball Hall of Fame generously donated postcards and personalized notes from those packing as well as the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame yearbook. Local townspeople donated paperback books and the Cooperstown Cookie Company donated cookies for the packages as well.
Cooperstown locals Ann and Frank Capozza of Event Rentals generously donated rental tables and provided transportation for shuttling care packages. Mr. and Mrs. Capozza’s two children are currently serving in the military. Their daughter is currently stationed at Ft. Lewis and their son is serving in Iraq. When I explained to Mr. Capozza we were in Cooperstown to pack care packages for service members, he asked if someone suggested I telephone him for help. We had no idea that his children were serving in the military. His wife became our champion during our packing event by encouraging the local students from Cooperstown Central School’s class of 2012 to pack care packages as well as inviting all of the baseball fans attending the baseball game at Doubleday Field to get involved.
We made many new friends that day in Cooperstown, NY and thank all who came out to pack!
There are heroes in every community. Get connected with your local opportunities to honor their service by searching on Serve.gov: "veterans," "service members," "troops," etc. Also visit Operation Homefront to find other ways to get involved.