BERLIN — Boxes to Boots, a local nonprofit, is grateful for the community’s help in making the holidays a little brighter for U.S. military personnel serving overseas. In 2022, Boxes to Boots assembled and shipped 1,204 military care packages to Kuwait, Bahrain, Germany, Africa and Iraq.

Boxes to Boots president Kristen Gauvin said the packages were sent on November 5 and arrived well before Christmas. “In the past, these care packages took several weeks, so when it only took about three weeks, I was so happy,” Gauvin said.

Boxes to Boots was founded in 2016 by Berlin resident and military mother Karen Cote. Gauvin took the reins of the operation in 2020 and continued the organization’s tradition of hosting “Thank Our Troops” events, where volunteers gather to prepare care packages for shipment. Last November, more than 1,000 people helped.

Bristol resident Jenny Buchas, a Boxes to Boots volunteer, said her son, an army sergeant serving overseas, was left with a care package packed by his relatives. “My son received a packed box from his wife, his mother-in-law, myself and a friend,” Buchas said. “What are the chances out of 1,200 boxes that he opens his family’s box?

sergeant. Joshua Buchas and his unit were grateful for the packages, and his mother is grateful that her son has since returned home.

Boxes to Boots, located at 28 Chamberlain Highway, is currently working on sending care packages for Valentine’s Day. Donations must be submitted by Wednesday, February 1. To learn more about the organization and its needs, visit

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