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KEY BISCAYNE (CBS4) – What are you doing this Memorial Day to salute a soldier? You can make a difference for someone serving our country, for just a dollar.
A South Florida woman has started a group called “iPads for Soldiers” which raises money to send the tablets overseas, something that will make it easier for service men and women to keep in touch with loved ones.
Soldier Jared Hoffman sent a video for CBS4’s Cynthia Demos.
In it Hoffman shares his appreciation for his little portal to the world. “Hi, my name is Jared Hoffman, currently stationed in Afghanistan. I got and iPad and it’s been a big game changer for me being able to keep in contact with my family and friends back home.”
Behind “iPads for Soldiers” is Key Biscayne’s Winnie Pritchett, a mother whose son is serving overseas.
“It’s been phenomenal,” said Pritchett
Winnie and Wes Pritchett’s son, Wes, went to West Point and is now a chopper pilot in Afghanistan.
“It’s super hard every day, every second,” said Pritchett.
Wes told his parents if there is anything the soldiers want and need it’s an iPad.
“These guys just need to know they’re not forgotten,” said Winnie’s husband Wes.
The iPads are light so they don’t have to carry books. They help them communicate with their families and keep morale up. The iPads are also sent to Walter Reed Medical where wounded soldiers with missing hands or fingers can easily navigate the touchscreen device. “As long as there are soldiers being injured,” said Winnie’s husband, “we need to help them.”
The Pritchett’s have donated 250 iPads so far and have also gotten friends, family, schools and local businesses to donate money. At Somerset Academy in Coral Gables, students will dress in red, white, and blue and donate a dollar.
First grader, Caroline Zamek, brought in a dollar because she says soldiers are important.
“That way nobody hurts our country cause it’s a good country and we don’t want anybody to hurt it,” said Zamek.
Every dollar people give is more than appreciated by the people who started the non-profit.
They take pride in the fact that the soldiers aren’t just getting a gift that can change their lives, but also a reminder that they are being remembered.
The Pritchett’s either hand deliver the iPads to Walter Reed on their own dime and time or they pay for the shipping so every penny donated goes directly to purchasing and iPad.
If you’d like to donate money or an iPad you can do so through CBS4’s Neighbors for Neighbors program.