“It’s the first Christmas without him. But by doing this little project makes it a lot easier to have him away.”
Renae Hutlzer and her husband, Dave started what they thought would be a little project called #ChristmasFor30. But what started out small turned into a really big deal.
They wanted to send care packages to their son, Jared Hutzler and his fellow soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. Word spread like wildfire on social media, and the response was overwhelming. Friends, family, even strangers in their home town of Mesa, Arizona came to the Hutzler’s with food and gifts to send overseas.
“They just came in … and brought more, and more, and more than we would’ve ever imagined,” Renae Hutlzer says. “It was a wonderful outpouring. A lot of people who wanted to make sure that servicemen and women everywhere knew that there were people back here thinking of them.”
The 30 care packages were opened by Jared and his Unit on Christmas morning in Afghanistan. “I’m pretty happy because it helps us think about them,” Jared said in an interview on FaceTime. “And kind of gives us that feeling of sitting around and opening gifts.”
“When you see him there on television, and you see his reaction and his smiling face, and know that he’s OK, it confirms to me that he’s being protected,” Dave Hutzler says. “And it’s all good that he hopefully will return home soon.”
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