When Lisa Cano's son joined the United States Air Force six years ago, the Hilmar mom was both proud of the decision he made to serve his country and worried about the dangers inherent in the military. She started looking for others going through the same thing and found the Blue Star Mothers of America.
Blue Star Mothers of America was founded in 1942, when 300 mothers of servicemen met in Flint, Michigan. The organization was officially chartered by Congress in 1960, with the mission of providing support to the troops, their families and military mothers.
"It's a huge support to be around other women who actually understand what it's like to have your child away," said Cano, whose son recently returned to the States after a tour in Afghanistan.
When Cano first got involved with Blue Star Mothers, the closest group was out of Atwater. In August, however, a new chapter of the organization was created in Stanislaus County — Mid-Cal Blue Star Moms.
Although a new chapter, the Mid-Cal Blue Star Moms didn't waste much time in coordinating a care package drive for local servicemen and women. Throughout the fall, the club collected donations of edible treats and other goodies like socks, lip balm, games and more personal items like handwritten notes from local elementary school students, and put them all together into care packages for the troops.
In early December, the club shipped about 79 boxes. Approximately two-thirds of them were sent to troops overseas. Those boxes were sent to addresses in Afghanistan, Japan, Guam and Guantanamo Bay. As an added bonus, the group was contacted by an anonymous donor who offered to cover as much of the cost of the flat rate postage as possible.
This was just the first care package project the Mid-Cal Blue Star Moms coordinated. The group plans to do many more of these special deliveries for the troops.
The Mid-Cal Blue Star Moms meet the fourth Sunday of the month at Golden Corral in Modesto. For more information about the group, find them on Facebook or call club president Emmy McDaniel at 595-3764.