SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Lorimar Cintron’s father died from injuries sustained in Iraq when she was just 11-years-old.
“I’m just so proud of him,” said Cintron.
It wasn’t long after when she and her sister started receiving gifts, every year, on their birthdays.
“It was great,” Cintron remembered, “Me and my sister waited for those. My mom would take the boxes to the school, and we’d open them in front of everyone.”
The packages were postmarked from A Soldier’s Child Foundation. The nonprofit was started by retired Navy veteran Daryl Mackin, who felt the calling to care for those left behind.
Those like Heather Von Loh, who lost her husband, Army National Guard Sergeant Dusty Von Loh.
“I was pregnant with my son, and my daughter was 3-years-old at the time. I went years without knowing anything was out there for us,” said Von Loh.
She eventually found an entire support system within the foundation that does more than send gifts to children of fallen military members. It also hosts retreats.
“You see these families all come together. No words can describe it, because it’s just so amazing to see. And, that’s where the healing starts,” Von Loh said.
A Soldier’s Child also offers camps to teach children like 8-year-old Gracie Romero, and her brother Liam, skills their father didn’t get the opportunity to.
“How to do some stuff like change a tire, to cook, and all kinds of stuff,” said Gracie.
The experience has come full circle for Cintron who’s so appreciative of A Soldier’s Child she’s taken on a leadership role.
“I began to mentor these kids, and it’s been such a blessing,” she said.
It’s all made possible thanks to the generosity of others willing to give of their time and money.
“You’d really be helping a lot of other families if you did donate and make them feel happy that they have these gifts and a place to rely on,” said 12-year-old Liam.
More than 4,000 children benefit nationwide. Click here if you’d like to contribute to A Soldier’s Child Foundation.