Tonawanda Mother Sends 'Jammies' To Soldiers

August 18, 2010 Updated Aug 18, 2010 at 11:41 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

August 18, 2010 Updated Aug 18, 2010 at 11:41 PM EDT


It's a massive coordination effort headed up by Cheryl Lepsch of Tonawanda called Jammies for GI's.

"You can't do this without having a smile on your face. It's very inspiring," said Sam Reeder, President of the Greater Niagara Chapter American Legion Riders.

Flip-flops, entertainment items, clothes and just about any other personal item someone might need are all being boxed up and prepared for drop-off directly to wounded soldiers at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C.

"We're going to escort a 24-foot Penske truck directly to the soldiers at the Fisher House and Malone House right there at Andrews Air Base," said Reeder.

The project began five years ago when Cheryl's son suffered lung injuries while stationed with the Marines in Africa. She found out that soldiers transported to different locations after being wounded overseas often do so with only the war-torn clothes on their backs.

"By the time my son left Africa, had gone to Saudi Arabia, had gone to two mass units in Iraq and finally got to Germany, he was days without a change of clothes," said Lepsch, founder of Jammies For GI's.

All the items have been donated, even the storage space they work in. When the President of Colvin Cleaners in Kenmore heard she need space, he made room.

"You know, I mean it's just our small part to be able to take the pressure off of her and help her do something good," said Paul Billoni, President of Colvin Cleaners.

What began as a mother helping her son, turned into something she never expected.

"He (her son) knows how important it is because he did go so many days without a change of clothes so you know, it's a great feeling," said Lepsch.