Supporting Our Vets: Keystone Military Families and CSTK
Andrew Potts didn’t know he was going to find a job that day. He was simply going to help his friend’s mom unload some food for her charity, Keystone Military Families, an organization devoted to helping struggling veterans keep food on the table. Andrew was a veteran himself, who knew what it was like to have trouble adjusting to a new life outside the military. That’s why he always helped whenever he could. He knew that this organization made a difference and he knew the people that it helped. That day, at a Keystone event, he struck up a conversation with a man named Jamie who was unloading food from a refrigerated trailer…
“I was asking about this trailer and where it came from and how it worked,” Andrew remembers. “I didn’t quite realize that I was talking to the General Manager of CSTK East. So, we started talking about my story, and I guess one thing led to another, and now I’m grateful to be working for him as a driver. All because CSTK was helping Keystone Military Families that day.”
Keystone Military Families was started by Kyle Lord when her son was deployed overseas with the Pennsylvania National Guard in 2002. “There was really no social sharing back then, so we created a site for people in the unit and their loved ones to share photos and keep in touch,” she explains. That soon turned into putting together and sending care packages to the soldiers – toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other items people back home take for granted. When these Vets started returning back to Pennsylvania, many of them struggled with the transition back to civilian life. There was a real need to help some of these heroes get back on their feet. Keystone Military Families began providing food and household items, only 12 families a month at first, but always growing.
These days, the organization supports over 200 families a week with an on-site grocery store. Keeping the experience anonymous yet also as normal as possible is a big part of why vets trust the charity as they do. All in all, Keystone Military Families stands as a moving testament to the dedication of Kyle and the rest her supporters to see that no Pennsylvania veteran goes hungry.
It’s an organization that CSTK is proud to support as part of Thermo King’s We Move Food initiative.
“CSTK’s help is a really big deal for us,” Kyle says. “As a nonprofit, our budget is always tight. We wouldn’t be able to afford to help so many families without the trailers that CSTK has donated and the support they’ve given. Jamie (Jamie Cressman, General Manager of CSTK East) has always been there for us. Everybody has been wonderful!”
In addition to the donated trailers to store frozen and refrigerated food, CSTK East has collected food and money to donate, stocked shelves, and packed care packages for deployed soldiers. This Holiday Season, we want to thank Jamie and his team for all their hard work, and we want to thank Keystone Military Families for letting us contribute in some small way to their noble mission. We owe our veterans, many of whom work in the transportation industry, a tremendous debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.
And thank you, Kyle, for the recommendation on a quality driver! We’re always looking for good people at CSTK!
Please visit keystonemilitaryfamilies.com to donate.