Volunteers spend Thanksgiving wrapping gifts for troops

BERLIN, Conn. (WTNH) – The Kulinski family of Berlin spent Thanksgiving as a family, wrapping gifts for Christmas.

“These guys are part of our families,” said Stephen Kulinski. “They’re from Berlin, some of them, so why not contribute to them?”

From snacks to books, every gift is getting the full holiday treatment. Yet, it’s unlikely the treasures will be opened up under a tree, but instead in the deserts of the Middle East. The work done was all the idea of Karen Cote of Berlin.

“It started out with an idea and then as I put it out there on Facebook,” said Cote. “Everybody started donating and I was getting calls from all over.”

Cote is the mother of a son serving in an Army combat unit in Kuwait and like any mother will tell you, no amount of distance can stop a mom from showing that she cares. Every member of her son’s unit will get a gift thanks to the work Cote has done.

“These kids are out in the desert in the middle of the desert, 25 miles from the Iraqi border and there’s nothing but sand and they probably think we forget about them, but we haven’t and the support has been phenomenal,” said Cote.

Phenomenal may be an understatement if you saw the room at the VFW, packed with volunteers from the community who also wanted to be part of what Cote started.

“I think its going to build patriotism and in this day and age we need it,” said Cote.

The total cost of sending all of the care packages out will be around $1,500.