MooreMart throwing a party to honor those who have helped for a decadeBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent August 10. 2014 9:12PM
NASHUA — What started out 10 years ago as a small shipment of care packages to soldiers overseas has now become a large volunteer organization that thousands in the military depend on.
MooreMart was created in 2004 by Judge Paul Moore of Bedford and his sister, Carole Moore Biggio, who now lives in Virginia. When their brother, Brian Moore, was stationed in Iraq, the siblings began sending 10 care packages a month to support his unit.
It eventually snowballed into 40 boxes a month, then 100. The family decided to seek help from other agencies.
Since then, MooreMart has evolved into a massive grassroots initiative. The organization has packed and shipped more than 64,000 care packages to soldiers, in addition to more than 8.5 tons of humanitarian aid to schools, orphanages and clinics in the war-torn regions of the Middle East.
“I never imagined it would get this far,” Moore said. “We have these young men and women making great sacrifices, and I think it is the least we can do to show the members of our armed services that we care for them and recognize their sacrifices.”
Soldiers have an opportunity to fill out postcards requesting specific items from back home, Biggio said.
“In the line that asked what else would be beneficial to ship in the care packages, one soldier wrote ‘my wife,’ which just tugged at my heart and reminded me how much they sacrifice,” Biggio said. “Whether or not there is conflict in the Middle East, there will always be service people deployed, and we want them to know they are appreciated.”
Girl Scout cookies — specifically Thin Mints and Samoas — are especially sought after, Moore said. Other favorites include socks, candy, powder drink mixes and beef jerky. Moore said he once searched high and low for a certain type of Tabasco sauce.
It has become customary for MooreMart volunteers to include thank-you letters written by New Hampshire residents in each of the care packages.
“There are times when it gets very lonely over there. Those cards help to reaffirm their faith in people, and let them know that the community back home is supporting them,” Moore said.
MooreMart has no professional staff or employees, and no out-of-pocket expenses, he said. The organization operates solely on donations from individuals, businesses and groups. There are no major international or countrywide supporters, but rather dedicated companies and veteran groups that have committed their time and fundraising efforts, Moore said. Those include Southern New Hampshire Wine and Spirits, UniFirst, Comcast, BAE Systems, Hewlett-Packard and more.
“This is all about our volunteers,” he said.
About 100 volunteers are necessary for each packing event every 10 weeks at the Nashua National Guard Armory.
At 11 a.m. on Saturday, MooreMart will host its 10th anniversary celebration event at the National Guard Armory, 154 Daniel Webster Highway in Nashua, to recognize its many volunteers and donors. The public is invited.
Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau are expected to attend.