Thursday, February 17, 2011

A grandson’s request leads to gift of warmth

A grandson’s request leads to gift of warmth

Children gather around an armored truck on Monday to collect warm clothes and blankets from members of the Iowa National Guard's 832nd Engineer Company. The gifts were donated by members of St. John Lutheran Church in Newhall, Iowa. (Photos by Spec. Adam Mathis)

A grandson’s request leads to gift of warmth

Mae Kaestner got a surprising response when she asked her grandson if she could get him anything to make life more comfortable in Afghanistan.

Her grandson, National Guard Staff Sgt. Peter Moeller of Atkins, replied that he didn’t need anything. “He said, ‘Oh, I’m OK, but the kids here are so cold. Maybe you could send them some quilts and coats and stuff.’”

The conversation happened shortly before Christmas via the internet service Skype. Kaestner, 80, was at her home in Newhall and her grandson was at Bagram Airfield in eastern Afghanistan.

His request soon turned into a notice in the Sunday bulletin at Kaestner’s church, St. John Lutheran in Newhall. The bulletin led to a stream of donations. “It was phenomenal how much poured in,” Kaestner said. Parishioners donated coats, gloves, hats, socks and yard after yard of fleece material for blankets. The 900-member church has sent 34 cartons so far, with postage paid with several hundred dollars worth of cash donations....

For more on this story, go here.

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