How to help
To donate wish list items for troops serving overseas, there is a drop-off box located at the local VFW post, 1045 Dahlonega Highway in Cumming. Items are accepted from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information on the program, visit www.change4georgia.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remington Youngblood describes himself as a patriot.
While he’s never fought in a war, the 10-year-old south Forsyth resident has been working to assist those who do.
Youngblood started Change 4 Georgia, a program designed to collect necessities for U.S. troops serving overseas.
"I thought, for all these soldiers do for us, that we should repay them in a way," he said. "Even if it’s not a big way, at least they’re getting comforts of home. Because they’re out there fighting and sacrificing themselves, because a soldier’s life isn’t without sacrifice and freedom is not free, because they have to fight for it.
"So I just thought that if we could help them in any way, that would be wonderful."
Youngblood recently visited Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9143 and coordinated the project with the Cumming group, said his mother, Rebecca.
"The VFW will pick up the items and the ladies auxiliary will package them and mail them to troops overseas," she said. "The wish list is about 30 items, like playing cards, Q-Tips, hot chocolate, beef jerky, MoonPies, baby wipes and toilet paper.
"There’s an ongoing need for these troops to have some of their comforts from home."
Once the VFW was on board, Youngblood approached his school, Johns Creek Elementary, and others, including Riverwatch Middle School and North Forsyth, Forsyth Central and South Forsyth high schools.
He asked various charitable clubs within the schools to encourage students to donate items.
So far, those schools have set up donation drop boxes, Rebecca Youngblood said, and her son is continuing to seek out other schools for support.
The Youngbloods approached Judi Jenkins, business and community relations facilitator for the school system, for help.
Jenkins said she first saw Remington perform at his school as its fifth-grade essay contest winner. The topic was why he was proud of his country.
"We just thought he was absolutely fantastic," Jenkins said. "It’s just so good to see kids like that, so young especially, be able to perform like that.
"I said if they sent me a flyer, I’d send the information to all of my [Partners in Education] contacts at each of the schools. I did it and I’m hoping it will bloom from there."
Not only has the effort grown, but so has Youngblood’s profile in the community.
Since winning his school’s essay contest, he has given his speech to the local school board and Gov. Nathan Deal. He is slated to meet soon with District 7 U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, who represents part of south Forsyth.
The student said he may consider a career involving public speaking. In the meantime, he’s happy to be volunteering through Change 4 Georgia.
"I think it’s important for me to give back because all they do for us," he said. "I think it’s an honor and I really enjoy helping our troops because I’m a patriot and I love our country."