LAKE JACKSON — What could have been a disastrous delay for the Military Moms and Wives of Brazoria County turned into a rallied effort by the community to help move about 1,500 boxes from the Clute Post Office to the Lake Jackson Post Office on Thursday.
The nonprofit planned on shipping more than 3,500 packages this week to deployed service members overseas — an annual tradition started almost 18 years ago by founder Mary Moreno.
When volunteers showed up to the Clute Post Office on Thursday morning, however, the computer system and internet service were down, leaving the organization at a loss for what to do with the thousands of boxes in the building needing to be shipped, Moreno said.
A quick phone call to former Freeport Mayor Troy Brimage and Freeport Police Chief Ray Garivey turned the unfortunate event into a positive occasion, Moreno said.
“We had first responders out here, we have the National Guard, we had our volunteers,” Moreno said.
Thanks to help from the Clute Police Department, Freeport Police Department, Lake Jackson Police Department, Freeport Fire Department, the National Guard and Vernor Materials, the Military Moms and Wives were able to move the packages to Lake Jackson where they planned to work into Friday evening to get the packages out in time for Christmas, Moreno said.
“Y’all know me already. I’m all about the community, especially when they talk about the troops and everything they do so that we can live in the land of the free,” Garivey said. “So I called Clute Police Department, Lake Jackson Police Department, and then we had my guys (Freeport Police Department). It’s what we do. We come together as a community, especially for a cause like this, to support our troops who are protecting us.”
About 15 to 20 first responders from each department showed up to load and unload packages, which took the majority of the day, Moreno said.
Inside the Lake Jackson Post Office, some residents who noticed the volunteers unloading packages offered monetary donations to the group, which was greatly appreciated, Moreno said.
“We are just so thankful to everyone who came and helped us,” volunteer and Brazosport ISD board trustee Liz Cuellar said. “They stayed and helped and they never left us.”
The Military Moms ship thousands of packages biannually to service members overseas. Each shipment costs about $40,000 for postage alone, Moreno said.
Volunteers are always needed and Moreno encourages residents to make volunteering a part of their New Year’s resolution this year.