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'A small difference in helping our troops and refugees:' Macon mom collects items for Afghanistan

If you like Straight from the Heart stories, read more to find out who inspired her.

MACON, Ga. — A Macon woman is helping families overseas with assistance from family, friends and others.

“There is just so many and the need is just so great,” said Stephanie Tinkey.

That need inspired Tinkey. With a lot of help, she’s sending items overseas for flight crews, ground personnel, and Afghan refugees.

"They have had three babies delivered on-board those flights. They have transported children, families, older people, and so there is a need across all ages," she said.

She ships several boxes a day, spending about $20 per box. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, stuffed animals, kid snacks and diapers are some of the things leaving her hands. It’s all love pouring in from Central Georgia.

"It almost makes me cry, people have just been incredible,” said Tinkey.

Betty Ragland is Tinkey's neighbor.

"It's so exciting to see all these items on Stephanie's driveway. Good deeds are contagious,” said Ragland.

Good deeds must run in the family. Tinkey's daughter, Grace, helps load and fly C-17s with the Air Force.

"She says it's the greatest honor of her life to wear the uniform of the United States," Tinkey said.

Just a few months ago, Grace left for Afghanistan, where her unit currently rescues orphans.

"As much as I miss her in what she's doing, it's been good in my heart that we are making a small difference in helping our troops and refugees," said Tinkey.

She is still accepting items and money to help with shipping costs. They need to ship as much as possible before Sept. 1.

If you can't help financially, she asks you that you wear red on Friday to Remember Everyone Deployed.

You can contact Tinkey by emailing her at 3blessings@bellsouth.net.

Grace has been deployed since mid-summer and is expected to return this fall. She went into the Air Force after graduating from Adams State University in Colorado, where she ran cross country and track.

Grace also grew up in Macon and is a First Presbyterian Day School graduate.

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