Why Support St. Michael’s Soldiers?
Kathy and Jim Signorile, the founders of St. Michael’s Soldiers, began by sending packages to their family members serving overseas. “I was sending care packages to my family members but, what happens is, once you have family and then they have friends, they become family too,” Kathy Signorile said. “So you’re sending these big packages because everyone needs to get something.”
Soon the effort mushroomed into much more.
“Then in June 2010, I went to bed one night and …” she paused as she wiped tears from her eyes. “God explained to me that it was really nice what I was doing, but it wasn’t what he wanted me to do.
“I needed to do this full time.”
Signorile said by the time she woke up, she knew the business plan right down to the logo. She said God gave her specific instructions for raising startup funds, a full business model, even the logo. “It took me three or four days to tell my husband for fear that he’d think I was crazy,” she said. The future founder and president of St. Michael’s Soldiers admits she had doubts about explaining the vision to her husband, so she prayed for a sign. Later, finding her husband washing dishes, she was convinced. “I was expecting a small sign, not a full blown miracle,” she said. “Fortunately, he said we have to do this immediately. “So we started in the front guest room of our house with three little plastic shelves.”
What St. Michael’s Soldiers Does for Our Deployed and Returning Service Members
“Hero’s Welcome Home” Celebrations
St. Michael’s Soldiers, a support group of 150 volunteers, planned a surprise procession, and law enforcement escorted Ryan from Orange Park to his parents’ home in Julington Creek.
“We can’t let them feel like they’re forgotten,” Kathy Signoreli, founder and president of St. Michael’s Soldiers. “We certainly can’t let them believe that their sacrifices were for nothing. They go over there, they leave their families, they leave their friends they leave their normal way of life to protect us.”
Ryan and his wife landed at Jacksonville International Airport at 9:30 a.m., then went to Field’s Cadillac, where they got into a convertible the dealership supplied. They were escorted by the Florida Highway Patrol down Interstate 295 to Old St. Augustine Road, then to Mandarin at Catholic Corners.
People lined the sidewalks on Old St. Augustine Road and down Loretto Road and San Jose Boulevard, and into his parents’ neighborhood off Durbin Creek Road.
The Patriot Guard Riders were in the neighborhood with their five-foot flags, and bikers from various groups joined the procession.
“I want them to know that I really do appreciate their support cause there are a lot of guys from Vietnam that came back to completely not this,” Ryan Timoney said.
“Home Sweet Home” Packages
Sent to unsuspecting troops all over the world, St. Michael’s Soldiers brings a little bit of home to our troops with our “Home Sweet Home” boxes, which are lovingly filled with needed and requested items like toiletries, snacks, and personal items that we box and ship all over the world to our deployed troops.
In the desert of Bahrain almost two hundred Navy sailors were 6,000 miles from home during the Christmas holiday. According to Lt Cmdr. Christian Cruz, “Conditions are always harsh, but morale is lowest during the holiday season.”
Cruz described the day he, as well as every single man in the unit, received a care package from St. Michael’s Soldiers as a moment of joy he will remember for the rest of his life. Basic items from home such as letters from family, a candy bar or even a pair of brand new socks can be a huge boost in morale, Cruz said.
Make Life for an Injured Vet a Little Easier
You can make a difference in the lives of our local area injured veterans by volunteering to drive them to doctors appointment, physical therapy, or just by running errands, like picking up prescriptions.
Your help will make an injured vet’s life easier!