By Samantha L. Quigley, American Forces Press ServiceDecember 12, 2006
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2006 - Thanks to a partnership with Hollywood Video and Game Craze rental stores in five states, "Tunes 4 the Troops" anticipates sending troops 5,000 DVDs this holiday season.
For $1, customers at 26 Hollywood Video stores and 18 Game Craze stores in Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas can write a note to the troops. Customers can also donate their spare change for the troops.
The money raised in each store will go to buy DVDs to benefit the troops through Tunes 4 the Troops, Kaylee Radzyminski, 15, founder of the Cleveland, Tenn., organization, said.
The venture started because Jonathan Powell, a Hollywood Video district manager for the five states involved, learned of Tunes 4 the Troops' efforts and wanted to help. The stores' goal is to raise $30,000 through the end of the holiday season, which Kaylee said would buy about 5,000 DVDs, CDs and audio for the troops. The current total is about $3,000.
What she sends this holiday season will be in addition to the 10,000 such items she's sent out since starting Tunes 4 the Troops in fall of 2005. She's working toward a goal of 500,000 entertainment items shipped to the troops by the 2008 holiday season, she said.
Her efforts are rewarded with gratitude from the troops that receive her videos, CDs and audio books. "All military personnel around the world are truly grateful for all the support you have given," Army Maj. Johnny Borden e-mailed Kaylee from Kuwait. "In my eyes you have reached (your goal), seeing someone smile with their headphones on at the desk, dancing in their chair.
"Know this, you made an impact and I get to laugh just a little," he added.
Kaylee also helped Tina Rice, founder of the Tennessee-based "Operation Christmas Presence.". She provided Rice a list of armed services chaplains who will distribute Operation Christmas Presence's packages.
Kaylee also seized the opportunity to keep some more troops entertained by including a CD and DVD in each of the boxes Rice sent out. That effort produced more than 1,400 boxes of goodies and entertainment items for the troops.