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Care For Our Troops to become a ‘Hometown Hero’

Date: 11/26/2013

By Carley Dangona

WEST SPRINGFIELD – A local organization will officially become one of the “Hometown Heroes Among Us” at the Dec. 7 Springfield Falcons game.

Care For Our Troops (Care) is an organization that sends care packages to military personnel stationed overseas. The all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit was established in 2010 by Michele Cabral after her son was deployed. Care’s motto is “Community Awareness, Community Pride, Community Support.” To date, more than 3,000 care packages have been assembled and sent.

Care will be recognized during the first period of the Dec. 7 game when the Falcons face off against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the game begins at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $20 for adults and $13 for children 14 years old or younger. To purchase tickets, go to or visit the MassMutual Center box office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or 10 a.m. to game time on Saturday.

“I was totally and completely humbled [when I was notified about the honor],” Cabral said. “We’re not looking for recognition. We do what we do because we want to keep the conversation current by giving the community a way to reach out to our troops. We should pause and say thank you, remembering we gave great men and women serving.”

She continued, “To the Falcons, thank you. This is an invaluable opportunity to get the word out [about what we do].”

Bob Oliver, senior vice president and alternate governor of the Falcons, said, “We survive by the support we get from this community and want to give back our acknowledgement and support.”

He continued, “There’s so many good stories that don’t get press. The Hometown Heroes program can be a catalyst for awareness. We want to focus on what’s good in this community – there’s so many things.”

Cabral shared a story where upon return, one veteran stopped in to say thank you and said, “We know our families have to love us. It means so much more when it comes from a stranger.”

She explained that Care is 100 percent funded by donations and that many West Side schools, churches and civic organizations have lent a helping hand. Cabral did not establish a website because she “didn’t want administrative costs to become part” of the fundraising. Care relies on word of mouth and its Facebook page for advertising.

“We always welcome new military people in need,” she said, adding that new volunteers and “fresh” ideas are also invited.

For more information about Care For Our Troops, visit For those interested in volunteering or making a donation, contact Cabral directly at or at 537-0118.

To get tickets for the game or to submit a nominee for the “Hometown Heroes Among Us,” visit