More than 1,000 employees of the Citi company gathered at San Diego’s Embarcadero Park Tuesday with one important mission in mind: to put together hundreds of care packages for deployed members of the U.S. military.
Over the course of two hours, volunteers pieced together 226 packs filled with toiletries, snacks and personal letters that will be shipped to soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and military medical centers worldwide. The packages were put together to resemble an American flag.
“This is very near and dear to my heart, as my son has been in the military for 14 years and continues to be,” Citi employee Mary Migille said. “I think [soldiers] really appreciate everything we can give them and knowing that we’re out here supporting them.”
“Anything that we donate – there are times they just need shaving cream – it all helps. And they really do appreciate it,” Migille added.
While many volunteers put together the care packages, others assembled 113 wheelchairs for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization and San Diego-based vets with mobility issues.
Meanwhile, other teams stuffed and decorated 452 teddy bears and stuffed animals set to be delivered to children of deployed soldiers as well as kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego.
All of the packs, wheelchairs and stuffed animals will be distributed by local nonprofits, including DAV, the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego and Blue Star Mothers, San Diego North County.
Jud Linville, CEO of Citi Cards, said Tuesday’s volunteer efforts were a way for the company to give back to the community and the troops. He said many Citi employees have sons, daughters or spouses who are deployed, so the event meant a lot to many.
Linville said this event is one of many leading up to Citi’s 9th Annual Global Community Day on Saturday, where thousands of volunteers will gather across 95 countries to partake in more than 1,200 service projects to benefit different communities.