“Operation Hand-Warmer 2013” is in Full Swing as Afghanistan Winter Looms

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CSRA HOME CONNECTIONS and CENTURY 21 Larry Miller Realty Volunteers Helping Make Life a Little Warmer for U.S. Military Personnel in Afghanistan

Commercial Property Sales, Evans

Amid forecasts of another bitterly cold Afghanistan winter, CEO Larry Miller announced recently that the super-successful CSRA HOME CONNECTIONS Local Alliance Co-op Marketing Program’s “Operation Hand-Warmer 2013” is moving full speed ahead. “We’re receiving even more media support and volunteerism from all across the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) than ever,” beams Mr. Miller.

“Operation Hand-Warmer” is designed to supplement standard military issue clothing and supplies, specifically for those who have to do hand-related tasks requiring dexterity in combat zones (http://www.OperationHandwarmer.com). Hand-warmers can be found at any sporting goods store, warehouse club (Sam’s or Costco), Wal-Mart, Academy Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Lowe’s, etc.

After Executive Director Bert Dean's recounting of Augusta's post-9/11 "Care and Prayer Crusade" ($1,125,000 donated to New York City) and a moving 9/11 tribute video, CSRA HOME CONNECTIONS Special Ambassador Burt Sappenfield, owner of Majestic Floor Care, updated 75+ attendees on this year’s drive during the CSRA HOME CONNECTIONS Networking Breakfast and Success Seminar on Wednesday morning, September 11th, at the Be My Guest Catering & Events facility in Evans. Army veteran Chris Tison and Navy veteran Edward Alexander, both alumni of the Afghanistan military theater, shared their cold-weather experiences and how important hand-warmers and other supplies from back home mean to men and women serving our nation abroad, whether military or civilian.

Burt Sappenfield added that one of his military connections familiar with "Operation Hand-Warmer" researched what other, similar civilian organizations have done in the past year or so and unofficially reported that the local group here in the CSRA was "the largest contributor, dollar for dollar, pound for pound, in the country." Over 30,000 hand-warmers and other needed supplies have been donated since the program launched in early 2012. “It’s both humbling and rewarding when the commanding officer of a 'special ops' division reports that severe frostbite cases among his troops have dropped to ZERO since we started Operation Hand-Warmer,” explains Sappenfield. “So we know we’re doing a good service for our troops.” Temperatures in the unheated helicopters at an altitude of 10,000 feet can hit minus 20 degrees. Hand-warmers and other selected supplies are a huge morale boost for our troops- military men and women from every branch of our armed forces- stationed thousands of miles from home.

List of materials, food items, and other supplies specifically requested by our troops is as follows: hand-warmers, toe-warmers, arm-pouches, pistachios, beef jerky, almonds, bubble gum, licorice, sunflower seeds, cracker jacks, powdered drink mixes, microwave meals, Jolly Ranchers, hard candy, peanuts, chewing tobacco and pouch tobacco.“Special ops” warriors sometimes have to go up to 24 hours without a meal on a mission. The chewing tobacco and pouch tobacco helps suppress their hunger and provides temporary physical stimulation.

HotSnapz, headquartered in LaPorte, Indiana, learned about "Operation Hand-Warmer" online and immediately shipped 159 pounds of reusable HotSnapz hand-warmers (valued at $1,800) to the CENTURY 21 Larry Miller Realty headquarters office in Evans, Georgia.

Beasley Broadcast Group of Augusta Operations Manager Tee Gentry, Vice President and Market Manager Kent Dunn, and KICKS 99 morning men Mike Tyler and Steve Smith have agreed to conduct another major donations drive from September 23rd through September 30th to wrap up this year’s “Operation Hand-Warmer” event with a bang. “We were so blessed and privileged to be able to contribute so significantly to last year’s success,” said Mike Tyler. “And we cannot wait to help Larry Miller and his organizations make life better for our military men and women in Afghanistan and other military theaters this winter,” adds Promotions Director Bryan Axelson.

CENTURY 21 Larry Miller Realty Director of Communications Dawn Human reported that schoolchildren from three major home school associations in the CSRA, as well as from public and private schools in Georgia and South Carolina are in the midst of a letter-writing campaign which will culminate on September 25th. Students of all ages are composing hand-written, encouraging, and supportive letters and cards of thanks which will be distributed to hundreds and hundreds of military men and women belonging to multiple service branches in myriad military installations far from the USA.

“Chris Cunningham, CEO of WifeSaver, Inc., has designated all eight of their area restaurants as donation drop-off points for hand-warmers and other supplies again this year,” reports Miller. “And all local branches of Georgia Bank & Trust are again accepting cash donations. (Checks can be made payable to CENTURY 21 Larry Miller Realty with “for Operation Hand-Warmer” on the memo line.) Mr. Miller adds: “Caring corporate citizens and patriotic individuals such as these and countless others are making all the difference in the world to our men and women far away from home this winter.” Both CENTURY 21 Larry Miller Realty offices (Evans and Thomson, Ga) will also accept donations of materials and checks during regular business hours. The drive, which officially launched September 4th, runs through September 30th. Donations will also be accepted at Hogie Joe's Sports Grill in Thomson and Joy of St. Croix's studio at the Barnyard Flea Market in Augusta. Special donation collection barrels were donated by the Augusta branch of Golden Harvest Food Bank.

About CSRA HOME CONNECTIONS:

CSRA HOME CONNECTIONS is a network of product and service providers that are chosen for their outstanding service and quality. Through this network, local businesses have a comprehensive marketing program in addition to opportunities to connect with other businesses. The CSRA HOME CONNECTIONS Program is more than a business organization: It’s a community of caring and concerned citizens who believe that doing good is good business. Since its inception in 2005, and in conjunction with CENTURY 21 Larry Miller Realty, the CSRA HOME CONNECTIONS family of Preferred Providers has helped make the community a better place, with major contributions to several area charitable organizations, including Operation Hand-Warmer, Easter Seals, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Goodwill Industries, and others.

Growth-oriented businesses, professional practices, or individuals interested in learning more may contact Mrs. Bradshaw by phone at (706) 860-0000, or via e-mail: CBradshaw(at)C21LarryMiller(dot)com.

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Caroline Bradshaw
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