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Caring Patriots_HotCocoaMix_Finished Product_6_Corley

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

by Nestle Toll House Bakers | Dec 02, 2016

Can one person really make an impact in this world?  Mike Cozzi, a full time truck driver noticed veterans in need and wanted to help out a handful because he wanted the men and women who served to protect our country to have a proper Thanksgiving.  This year, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, Caring Patriots was able to serve over 1000 veterans!!  The volunteers worked for two straight days packing over 7000 bags that were either delivered (for those veterans who are not able to drive to pick up the meals) or picked up.  I had the privilege of dropping off some Nestle Toll House Hot Cocoa Mix on the day that the volunteers were setting up to assemble the bags and what a sight!  This was the first year that they were able to pack the bags in an ideal spot: an old grocery store building, and because they had shelves it literally looked like a grocery store! 

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From the very beginning, with all of the donations and food drives that they have to collect items that are needed, so much care and consideration goes into what this organization does.  They check for expiration dates, group items together, and label the bags so that they can keep a tab on being as organized as possible.  This also ensures that things are divided in the most efficient way. 

What warmed my heart so much was seeing all of the volunteers who were so eager, kind, and helpful.  I truly believe this is because energy was passed down from the top.  I was able to hear amazing stories like how a football coach brings his entire football team every year to volunteer.  Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops, churches, and families.  I saw Mike having fun with the volunteers and the volunteers in turn having fun right back.  I mean, how often are you in a volunteer situation doing a live Facebook chant and a mannequin challenge?  I know it was my first and hopefully not my last.  In fact, I plan on coming back next year with my daughter and supporting Caring Patriots.

To top it all off, Mike is not the type of person who wants to put the spotlight on himself.  In fact, as we were getting ready to leave, I looked for him to thank him for allowing us to come in and be a part of this and found him in the back, sweeping.  Yes, sweeping!!  I have been in the Hospitality industry for a very long time, and occasionally, I will come across people who do things that others might not do (like sweeping) and when I saw him with that broom, I just knew that Caring Patriots is a success story because one man knows the true meaning of serving and caring for others.  One person started with a desire to help our veterans in a small way and thousands of lives have been impacted because of a single person’s caring heart for people in need.  This genuinely inspired me. 

- Soyoung