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Pritchett is making
happy this season
with a slew of
new iPads to help
them stay in touch
with loved ones
their free time.
W innie Pritchett isn’t an ordinary mom.
In fact, she’s much more than a mom:
To some, she is an inspiration. When
her only son, Captain Wesley Pritchett,
was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010
to fly Kiowa helicopters, Winnie was inspired to find a way
to serve those who were serving our country. Her idea was
to help them in a truly modern way — by getting them iPads.
The lightweight tablet computers can easily fit into
soldier’s backpacks even on the front lines, replacing laptop
computers, books, games, cameras and a host of other gear.
The tablets also make it a breeze for soldiers to keep in touch
with loved ones back home. Thus, iPads for Soldiers collects
donations to help purchase brand-new iPads for U.S. soldiers
serving in Afghanistan. And so far, the young foundation
has had stellar success, raising more than $200,000 and
delivering more than 450 iPads to soldiers. And, assures
Pritchett, this is only the beginning of a larger goal she and
her team have planned.
Pritchett has also expanded her efforts to include soldiers
who are right here in the U.S. — those who have been brought
42 T e x t by Jacquely n B enso n
Ph otos co ur t e sy o f i Pads
Fo r So ld ier s
to stateside hospitals after being wounded. “When the soldiers
are injured in the field, they are flown to Germany and then
to a hospital stateside,” she says. “They have no personal
possessions with them.” She says the soldiers only receive
the rest of their belongings when their units are redeployed,
which can take some time. This means that it can be tough for
them to find a way to keep in touch with friends and family
at home as well as their comrades still deployed in the field.
For some, using a regular laptop or even a pen and paper can
be difficult since many are double or triple amputees.
Her cause has definitely inspired a great wave of support.
With the help of Amy Zambrano from Island Angels, around
15 local schools and businesses held a “Dress Down” day
the week of Veterans’ Day to raise funds for the charity to
do a surprise holiday distribution of new iPads to soldiers
both here in the U.S. and overseas. “I love the quote, ‘Be
the change you want to see in the world’,” Pritchett says.
“It’s inspirational working with the soldiers, and with the
generous people in our community.”
To find out more about iPads For Soldiers or to learn how
you can help, visit iPadsForSoldiers.com.