Care Packages for Our Troops

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Corporal Daniel Bédard.

Rachelle Guitard, S.W. - Family Separation and Reunion Coordinator, Military Family Resource Centre

Corporal Daniel Bédard of the 34 Service Battalion sends up to fifty care packages to troop members deployed in Quebec and across Canada. We meet with a 50-year-old father whose generosity knows no bounds.

“Just like my father, I make sure that my family wants for nothing and the army is my family too”, explains Bédard, who has gathered donations from local grocery stores, artisans and producers, pharmacies and many other organizations for the past 10 years. “The idea came to me when sponsors of deployed service men and women were appointed by Captain Benoît Parent to send care packages to the deployed. I started doing the same thing and I’ve never stopped.”

All year long, his garage and sometimes his living room, serve as a warehouse. “I remember having boxes of Whippets stacked all the way to the ceiling! My wife wasn’t too happy about it!” he said, laughing. For the past four years, Corporal Bédard has also worked with high schools and adds thank-you letters written by students to his care packages.

Very special holiday gifts, and perseverance!

Before the holidays, Corporal Bédard sends care packages, artificial Christmas trees and decorations that are donated or bought at garage sales. Although restrictions when it comes to shipping certain packages across borders are a challenge, the corporal doesn’t give up: “Some operations are more difficult than others due to the other country’s restrictions, but I find that most people are understanding, especially during the holiday season.”

M. Bédard also manages to personalize some of the packages. “Where possible, I try to find out a little about the woman or man who is deployed and I send them something they will like. I knew a certain guy liked barbecue-flavour potato chips so I sent him a case of chips and he shared them the others. That made everyone happy.”  

“A thank-you, a handshake or a hug is worth more than gold” 

Mr. Bédard keeps all the thank-you emails from servicemen and women who tell him that his actions have made a difference: “When it comes to care packages, rank or unit don’t matter.” (…) You can’t even begin to imagine how much it improves morale … little things like soap, a bag of chips or a magazine can brighten someone’s day.” Mr. Bédard is obviously moved as he tells us about messages from the military who needed feminine hygiene products, pillows or a sign than someone was thinking of them,

Mr. Bédard plans to continue sending care packages for years to come and hopes that more people will realize how important care packages are, regardless of the geopolitical context. You can contact him by email at beds@videotron.ca or reach him through your MFRC.

Information : Rachelle Guitard 450 462-8777 # 6858  (Saint-Hubert) 450 358-7099 # 2520 (Saint-Jean) rachelle.guitard@forces.gc.ca

 

 

 

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