An area non-profit is doing its part to help members of the military and their families.
One Soldier at a Time is the mission of six women who have taken the initiative to care for servicemen and women, veterans and their families.
The nonprofit started in 2006, and co-founder Lauren Coe said her main goal is to support the “hidden heroes,” praying for their loved one’s safe return home.
“We start by adopting the local military mom, wife, dad, husband, whoever is home,” Coe said. “We give them a gift at Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother's Day. Making a connection with them, so they realize that they are not alone, they’re not forgotten.”
Small acts of kindness carried out by One Soldier at a Time vary from delivering gifts, care packages, letters and even providing a network support system for military families in need.
Sunday afternoon, organizers hosted One Soldier at a Time’s first fundraiser called Heroes and Hidden Heroes Charity Event at Whiskey Pub and Grille in Charlotte. The popular eatery provided its event space to the non-profit for free. Some 70 veterans were sponsored and dozens of others came out to eat, drink, enjoy live music, mingle and partake in a raffle for prizes.
Lee Begy of Webster attended the event and said during his deployment, family and community support helped his wife and children through difficult times.
"I was deployed a few times so it was very challenging for my wife with two young children basically as a single mother,” Begy said. “But with a great support system at home, family and friends came together to help my wife out while I was away. It’s all around great to get the community involved.”
Michelle Gross, a mother and committee member of One Soldier at a Time, agrees that it is never easy standing strong alone.
"Take care of our veterans,” Gross said. “If you know somebody who has somebody serving, reach out to them and say ‘hey.’ You never know that they are maybe at that moment just really missing their soldier.”