On Saturday, October 12, Hero Helpers of America held its first fundraising event hosted by state representative Jay Barrows in Mansfield. Hero Helpers of America was founded by Lauren Eliopoulos and Amanda Dickerman, both Foxboro High graduates.
Local residents of surrounding towns, military families, servicemen, and political associates of Barrows swarmed the office of Barrows Insurance Agency, Inc. from 9am to noon. Hero Helpers of America received 3 cars full of donations, collectively enough to package over 45 care packages for troops overseas.
"State Rep Jay Barrows, R-Mansfield, provided us not only a space to host an event, but with a fantastic networking opportunity. I am so very grateful for everything he has done for us and am looking forward to working with him in the future," Eliopoulos said.
Dozens of cards, letters, and patriotic photos written and colored by residents at the event will be sent out to local servicemen this week. Raffle items collectively earned the organization well over four hundred dollars and featured items from Cahill Lawn Care in Foxboro, The Reiki Room in Foxboro, Maria Halvorsen Psychic and Medium, Edible Arrangements, Jake-n- Joe’s, Kayla Santos Photography, and many more. Raffle tickets winners will be drawn on Veteran’s Day and tickets can be purchased by calling Lauren or Amanda.
Uniformed servicemen also participated in the event. US Army Sergeant and Iraq veteran Greg Dickerman of Foxboro, National Guard PFC Alex Christodoulou of Walpole, USMC Sergeant and WWII veteran Josephine “King” Miller of Foxboro, and Air Force Senior Airman Ryan McGrath of Foxboro.
The girls are both familiar with military lifestyle, Eliopoulos had several family members in the military, and her younger brother is currently a Marine and set to deploy to Afghanistan in March. “This event is even closer to my heart with my brothers pending deployment. It makes everything so real” Eliopoulos said. Dickerman’s father served eight years in the US Army and was deployed during her younger years. “I was old enough to miss him, but not old enough to support him like I can do for servicemen and women now,” she said. “Today’s (Saturday’s) event is very special to me; it is our first fundraiser and it was a huge success, and also because I could share it with my father.”
Hero Helpers of America is still seeking financial assistance to ship the care packages made with goods from the event. Each package costs either $13 or $15 to ship in small and large flat rate boxes. Local residents are encouraged to participate in the “Sponsor a Care Package” program by donating the cost of shipping to the organization. Contact Lauren Eliopoulos at 508-631-4758 or Amanda Dickerman 508-369-7906. Updates on Hero Helpers of America can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/herohelpers.
Donation drop of centers are located at The VFW Post 2626 in Foxboro, Saint Mary’s Church in Foxboro, Barrows Insurance Agency in Mansfield, The American Legion in Sharon, Foxboro Town Hall and Unique Salon in West Roxbury.