Sending soldiers corporate love in 'Hugs from Home'

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Text as submitted to the Philadelphia Business Journal last week for tomorrow’s edition.

Just because a business is getting started, doesn’t mean it can’t show some heart.

Last year, Morristown, N.J.-based Office Furniture Partnership, with a new Philadelphia location, sent nearly 1,000 care packages to U.S. military personnel serving abroad as part of its ‘Hugs from Home’ campaign.

This year, OFP’s small Old City office, less than a year old, wanted to get involved.

“When I saw these guys doing it last year, it is just heartwarming thing to do,” said Chuck Andre, principal of the Philadelphia office.

So, they’ve added more than 150 tubes to this year’s company-wide total of 2,500.

They send clear tubes to their varied clients, asking them to fill them with household items, letters, and treats.

“Things they might not get, chewing gum, foot powder, band aids,” Andre said. “We got a cigar vendor to just stuff a tube with cigars, and we get photos of these services men, they are ecstatic, smoking these cigars.”  (Depicted above)

OFP picks up the postage costs, which could be higher than $8,000.

The company also has a small office in New York City, which has helped similarly.

“I guess it’s tri-state effort,” he said.

The importance of this help is not lost on Andre.“As a business in Philadelphia, trying to get established, its really positive thing to do,” he said.

“Maybe next year we’ll do a 1,000.”

Photograph, courtesy of OFP, of members of the 101st Airborne Division, based out of For Campbell, Ky., depicted in Bayji, Iraq.

See other reporting by Christopher Wink here.