By Libby Hopkins
Paula Stano raised her son, Jordan, to be kind, responsible and hard working. She didn’t envision him becoming a Marine, but when he did, she supported him 100 percent.
“I am a proud single mother of a United States Marine who is the inspiration behind my organization,” Paula said.
She started her own military foundation, S.T.A.N.O. which stands for Supporting Troops Area wide Nationally and Overseas.
When Paula’s son was in boot camp, she learned that some of his fellow recruits had families who did not support their decision to join the Marines, so they weren’t receiving letters of support.
“When I learned of this, my heart broke,” Paula said. “So, I decided to send some letters to the recruits in my son’s battalion to let them know they did have support.”
Paula’s act of kindness didn’t stop at letter writing. She adopted a whole platoon last Christmas. “With the help of my friends and family, we were able to send out 40 care packages to the platoon,” Paula said.
This past February, Paula attended a packing party for the troops. She was unhappy with the lack of thought or care when it came to the items that were being sent to our military.
“I felt that the men and women who serve in our military deserve so much more than what they were getting in those boxes,” Paula said. After some encouragement from her best friend, she decided to start her own organization.
S.T.A.N.O. is a non-profit whose motto is “To serve those who serve.”
“We are committed to provisioning support to these selfless individuals, who sacrifice so much for us,” Paula said. “We are also dedicated to being a resource for military families stationed in the Tampa Bay area looking for places to spend the holidays or join military related events.”
S.T.A.N.O. is getting support from local businesses to help send care packages for the holidays. Revolution Ice Cream in Brandon will be collecting supplies for the packages during September.
“For every item or boxed item donated to S.T.A.N.O., we will take a dollar off their purchase at Revolution Ice Cream,” said owner, Bill Workman.
S.T.A.N.O will also be hosting a fundraiser at Sketch and Sip in Riverview on Saturday, November 14 from 3–6 p.m. Tickets are $40 and it includes all painting supplies as well as snacks and wine. To learn more, visit www.stano.org.