Can you imagine being thousands of miles from home, in a strange land where conflict is all around you? Can you imagine eating whatever is served in the mess hall, or worse, a prepacked meal ready-to-eat (MRE)? Can you imagine being in a place that doesn’t have a 7-11 or Walgreens on every corner for you to run out and get a candy bar or a magazine?


Many of the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces have experienced these discomforts, on deployments, throughout the years. Deployments can last anywhere from 6-18 months, causing the deployed to feel isolated and forgotten.

The Yellow Ribbon Support Center (YRSC), will not forget our troops who leave their families and daily lives to serve overseas – sometimes in harm’s way. They need to know that we, at home, think about them and care enough about them to send them “love” from the home front.


HOW CAN YOU HELP? Keith always says, “we need 3 things to make this mission work: items to send, someone to send them to, and money to send it”.


  • Coordinate a collection drive using the Soldier’s Wish List. A volunteer from YRSC will be happy to collect the items from your drive.

Send donations to YRSC using QR Code, or mail your donation check to: 4326 Mt. Carmel Tobasco Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244.

  • Spread the mission of the YRSC using Facebook and word of mouth.

  • Volunteer your time at the Center to help with packing the care packages.

Our troops depend on each one of us to support them while they serve in harm’s way, defending the freedoms and way of life of this great nation.

community involvement packages

Care packages from the home front have benefits that stretch beyond simple pleasures, like a candy bar. Here is what a few former military members have to say about receiving care packages while deployed:


  • Brian Wagner, who served in the US Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005, said care packages “make you feel human to get something from home”.

  • Dennis Hardy, an E4 in the Army, who spent 11 months on a mountain top in Bosnia, says “In a confined and disrupted environment like that, a care package is something that grounds us to who we are, and we realize there is another place, a normal place, where we hope to get to again after our soldiering is done”.

  • Ivan Gardner, an ER in the Air Force, who spent time in Dau Tieng, Vietnam, said “just a small piece of home to hold onto, so the rockets and mortars, sappers and snipers, couldn’t steal every last bit of your sanity”.

  • Army MSG Lou Shaver, who served in the Gulf War in 1991 and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003, said “Care packages and letters from the states were a tremendous morale booster. Especially, from the kids in school. You sometimes feel forgotten by the public”.

Keith, Teachers & Students

Part of our mission is raising awareness about our troops, reminding people we still have men and women serving in combat. It is easy to forget we are still fighting a war now that the media has moved on. Our goal is to keep Matt’s and other soldiers’ sacrifice remembered by visiting schools and interacting with students.

Storytelling has always been an important way to teach younger generations the morals of a society and the history that life lessons are learned from. We want students to appreciate the importance of men and women protecting our nation’s liberty.

Keith and the YRSC team have visited daycares, preschools, and elementary, middle and high schools. Regardless the age group, discussions are always lively and informative. Every visit has been a positive learning experience for everyone and we always leave with new messages for our troops and a renewed faith in our future.

Many students and schools organize donation drives as community service projects and with our support. Keith, a Gold Star Father enjoys continuing the message of support for our military members. He covers topics, typically directly from student questions that range from what the soldiers who receive care packages are like, to how the soldiers live, eat, and feel while being away from home.

Some questions are even more poignant: “What did you think when Matt went missing?” “How did you feel when you learned your son’s remains were found?” Although the questions are sometimes tough, each one gets an answer.

School visits are easy to arrange and the format is simple and usually informal. Teachers are asked to present a short history of Matt and the Yellow Ribbon Support Center and the students are tasked with writing questions for Keith. When Keith arrives, just give him a cup of coffee and he’s ready to go.

If you would like to schedule a visit to your school or group, give us a call Please call Yellow Ribbon Support Center at (513) 752-4310 for more details.

Boxes and bins of candy

Another Halloween has come and gone and what to do with all that candy? Bring it to the Yellow Ribbon Support Center! Groups have been collecting Halloween candy and dropping off at the center to be sent to the troops. So far we have collected approximately 5,000 lbs of candy, Skittles, Snickers, Hershey bars and every other kind of candy you can think of to send to the guys and gals serving overseas. That’s a ton…literally. We’re tucking a few toothbrushes in the boxes too for good measure.

Donation drives by Local Dentists, Schools and Organizations have brought in a huge amount of candy. These groups have also donated funds towards postage and written letters or drawn special pictures for our troops. We’ve also had a number of walk-ins who have dropped off a bag or two of treats. So if you have candy you’d like to donate, drop on by and we’ll see it gets to the troops.

It will cost around $1.00 per pound,(depending on where it is shipped) for postage just to send. If you would like to help and don’t happen to have extra Halloween candy, monetary donations are welcome. (QR Code coming soon)

As always, we are humbled by the generous support of our community. Thank you.