Mid-South business offers gift of communication for troops

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - Mid-Southerners are known for their generosity, especially during the holiday season. Now, one local business wants to share that generosity with troops overseas.

An open line of communication is important on every level, but no more so than to members of the military serving thousands of miles from home.

The business of sending out packages across the country and beyond is what PakMail does daily.  Recently, the company teamed up with an organization that connects soldiers with families.

"We collect the phones for people to bring in to our locations for them to be recycled, and we ship off the phones to the national headquarters for cell phones for soldiers," local PakMail store owner Nancy Mitchell said.

'Cell Phones for Soldiers' was created in 2004 by a 13-year old girl and her brother, who wanted to provide soldiers with calling cards. With the money they received after recycling the phones, they purchased the cards.

PakMails across the country are also doing their part to bridge the connection between family and home.

"We give them a phone card if someone comes in and ships a package to a soldier overseas. We have phone cards to put in their boxes for them to give them to loved ones also," Mitchell said.

Deadrick Newson visited the store Thursday to donate a phone. He said there is nothing more important for those so far apart.

"It is a good thing. The cell phones where they can talk back and forth with the families, that's the most important cause I can't imagine being away from my loved ones that long and not being able to communicate with my wife everyday," Newson said.

So far, the store has collected enough phones to fill up four boxes. But they hope to extend that total to 10 before the November 20th overseas shipping deadline.

If you would like to drop off a phone, the store is located at 7095 Hacks Cross Road in Olive Branch.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.