SLIDELL, La. — The sights, sounds and tastes of Carnival is something not everyone gets the chance to enjoy. However, for the past 17 years, one group has made it their mission to make sure those overseas get a taste of home.
Boxes lined the wall at Randazzo's Camellia City Bakery Wednesday, each with a purpose.
"We need to appreciate and show our military that we appreciate them, that we're thinking of them, and we support them and they are not forgotten," Colleen Smith said.
It's part of "Operation We Care," an organization that sends monthly care packages to soldiers overseas.
"The King Cake symbolizes that we love them and send them something special and thank them for all they do for us," said Brenda Ogden, the group's president.
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From spreading the icing, to writing encouraging messages, you could say it was controlled chaos inside the bakery.
"We really appreciate what they sacrifice for us, our freedoms," Nicole Gunn said.
For volunteers, like Gunn, mixing free time with a bit of love, and a lot of sprinkles, is the perfect recipe that serves up a bit of hope.
"My brother is in the Air Force, not deployed right now, but he has been before," Gunn said. "So I know what it means for him to get packages in the mail, so I think it's special in that way."
And as the hundreds of packages begin their highly anticipated journey, the people here are sending along a piece of their heart.
"I have a message for them," Ogden said. "Come home safe and sound and we love you!"
Hopeful this small box will sweeten each soldier's day by letting them know they're being thought about and the job they're doing.
The monthly packages are funded entirely through donations. More information on how you can help can be found here.