Norfolk Sailor makes sending care packages easier with online business

NORFOLK, Va. - Nearly 4,000 care packages have been put together and sent to military members around the globe by a business called Troopster.

The company's CEO and founder is Navy Petty Officer Chelsea Mandello, who knows from experience what it's like.

"I've been on board nine ships, I've been overseas in 13 different countries, and it's just so difficult to be on deployment," Mandello told News 3's Aleah Hordges. "This really means a lot to me personally because I want to take care of those who might be on deployment for the first time or who are just really missing home."

The business started receiving online orders of care packages back in 2015.

Troopster expanded to a brick and mortar store so they could have more space, do more work and accept donations on April 11.

Mandello said sending care packages makes it less of a hassle for others.

Whenever you go to the post office to send a care packages, a customs form has to be filled out. Details include what items are inside, their value and where they're going; however, Troopster does it for you.

"Shipping time for the military can range anywhere from two weeks to a couple of months, so you really have to be careful with the contents that you don't put inside of a care package," continued Mandello.

It also means packing non-perishable food items that won't spoil.

The business offers over 40 pre-packed care packages to choose from.

There's also hygiene products, movies and magazines to go with it, all available to order online.

"You can really add personal touches such as a personalized letter and even photos that you can upload from home," added Mandello.

Mandello said her business has been a huge success so far and hopes one day it will go nationwide.

Troopster is currently looking for businesses to sponsor non-profit organizations to help with gathering donations and shipping care packages.

Visit their website to learn how you can help.