Upstate mother asks for community's help shipping shirts, notes - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate mother asks for community's help shipping shirts, notes to soldiers

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Rusty Carter (Courtesy:Gwen Pollard ) Rusty Carter (Courtesy:Gwen Pollard )
Hawaiian shirt donations to be rolled and shipped to soldiers. (April 1, 2017 FOX Carolina) Hawaiian shirt donations to be rolled and shipped to soldiers. (April 1, 2017 FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A Greenville mother whose soldier son is serving overseas is asking for help shipping unusual items for the troops—Hawaiian shirts.

Gwen Pollard said her son, Cpl. Rusty Carter of the 101st Airborne Division, was deployed on March 12 to a dangerous territory as part of a boots-on-the-ground combat mission

“Since becoming a soldier, he has only asked for two things from me,” Pollard said of Carter. “The first was to send song lyrics when he was In basic training. They weren't allowed music at that time. He said he thought he would miss TV, or video games, or movies, but all they really wanted was music. So I sent lyrics to hundreds of songs for them to sing.”

On Wednesday, Pollard said her son made the second request—asking for Hawaiian shirts for his fellow troops.

“Where they are, it is hot and dangerous and depressing,” Pollard said.  “While off duty, he wore a Hawaiian shirt and all the guys laughed.”

Pollard said many of the other soldiers in Carter’s unit said they wanted Hawaiian shirts of their own after the laughs Carter’s shirt provided.

“I'm on a mission to send these soldiers Hawaiian shirts,” Pollard said. “They do not want money, or anything big. Just some silly shirts to improve their morale.”

Pollard originally had hoped to collect 300 shirts to ship over to the soldiers. By Thursday, the shirt count had risen to around 400 shirts and notes to be shipped to soldiers. 

She said they received shirts, notes and donations from all over the country, including Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.

"It's truly amazing! We never thought it would happen in 2 and a half weeks, but here we are!"

A group of more than 25 volunteers got together on Saturday to help roll shirts to be shipped. Pollard said while the shirt and note goals have been met, there is still a major need for shipping donations.

Anyone wishing to donate can email donations to:

Hawaiian Shirt Project

Attn: Gwen

217 High Ridge Ct.

Easley, SC 29642

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