When Lynelle Chauncey Zelnar’s co-worker expressed concern that her son and his squad members deployed to Iraq were growing tired and frustrated and yearning for home, Lynelle knew she had to find a way to help. Those who knew Lynelle were not surprised by her response. She had pursued a degree in sociology from the University of Florida. She began her career as a social worker for Florida after graduation because of her desire to help others.
Lynelle wasted no time gathering items to send to the U.S. deployed soldiers to boost their spirits and encourage them. And in October 2003, Forgotten Soldiers Outreach was born to assist in “sending that little bit of home to our troops,” with Lynelle as its Founder and Executive Director. Not only did service members receive much-needed care items, but they also received letters of encouragement.
Though this local charity is located in Lake Worth, Florida’s warehouse district, it has grown to become a nationally-recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization that receives support from across the country. Lynelle’s mission of “supporting America’s deployed military service members and ensuring they are not forgotten” has inspired thousands of volunteers to pack “We Care” boxes to ship overseas to members of the U.S. deployed military who have been registered by family members, friends, commanding officers, or themselves.
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