Giving Your Best: Lisa & Russell Collins - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Lisa & Russell Collins

By Jennie Montgomery

February's Giving Your Best award takes us to Jack of All Trades in Grovetown, GA, which is owned by retired military couple, Russell and Lisa Collins.

The two have devoted themselves to caring for troops protecting our freedom. They send packages each month to soldiers, most of whom they'll never meet, because they want them to know they're not forgotten.

Deborah Bozeman, a customer at the store, nominated the Collins family.

"You served your country before and you're still serving it now, and we appreciate you so much."

Lisa, and her camera-shy husband Russell, have been sending care packages to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since the war started.

Bozeman's son is a recipient.

"When my son, Joshua, went to Afghanistan you told me to give you an address. And I saw all the boxes you had going all over the place, and always enough for 10 people, and you don't know how much that means to them when you open the box."

All Lisa asks in return is for soldiers leaving the war zone to give her an address of someone staying behind... so she can continue sending boxes.

Bozeman says she had a strong support network.

"She gets on the line, she's got friends in the American Legion, the Legion Riders, just all over the place, and they're always willing to give. They helped raise money for the memorial to fallen soldiers over at Hillcrest. I mean, they're just always into something, they always give. I teach special ed and she even gives to my classroom! Soon as I walked in she's giving me pencils and things!"

Lisa says she learned to be a "giver" from her grandmother.

"When we were in the service, my grandmother would send them, during Vietnam, and I learned that from her. We always take care of each other, and in the military we're just one big family. Anybody who's military, who's ever served in the military, join your American Legions. Everybody needs to get involved to help our soldiers and our retirees, and our veterans who are in hospitals."

Bozeman shares a story about Lisa Collins' humble nature.

"When my son come here after he came back from Afghanistan, he came to meet them and he said, 'Mama, I stopped and told her who I was, and I gave her a hug, and said thanks. And she said, 'no thanks necessary, we thank you."

All the Giving Your Best partners thank Russell and Lisa Collins for their service and sacrifice... and for being fine examples of what it means to go above and beyond for others.


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