GALLIPOLIS — Local families have organized to help support each other and loved ones serving in the United States Military.
Taking on the name River City Military Family Support Community (RCMFSC), families from Gallia County have begun meeting to support each other through conversation and emotional support. According to Lou Ann Shawver, treasurer for the group, the group has two main goals.
“What we do, it’s a two fold purpose, we support one another and we provide support to all branches of the military and their family through multiple activities and opportunities,” said Shawver. “We support one another but then we try to send out boxes two times a year so they get them on the Fourth of July and in December for Christmas.”
The group was initially formed in 2009, but none of the original members remain. According to Shawver, several families that had children around the same age entering the service began meeting together.
“They would see each other and they would talk, and we’d rather have a support group here at home not only for ourselves but to support the soldiers that are away,” said Shawver. “We come together and we talk about what our kids are doing and how everybody is doing.”
The group meets on the fourth Monday of the month for the months leading up to July and December, taking a break in August and January. In total, they meet about six months throughout the year. They spend a good portion of their time collecting and preparing boxes to be sent out to active duty personnel around the globe.
“We have one family, and the whole family is there in Japan, a husband and wife and two kids. We sent them a box for the husband, a box for the wife, and a box for the kids,” said Shawver.
The group is currently meeting to prepare boxes for Fourth of July to send out, and will send two boxes to each soldier. One box contains toiletries and the other contains snack foods and fun items for the soldiers.
They raise their own funds and purchase everything for the boxes on their own. While they currently have no members from Meigs or Mason Counties, they do serve active duty soldiers from there.
“We want to let them know that somebody is back home thinking of them and cares about them,” stated Shawver.
The group has a Facebook page and welcomes new families with active duty members. They can be found searching their name, River City Military Family Support Community.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.