Myrtle Beach restaurant hosts “Party on the Patio” to help local Blue Star Mothers

One of the goals of the Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina is to make sure no service member is forgotten. One way they do this is by mailing hero boxes overseas, but that costs money.

That’s where a local restaurant has stepped in to help ease their financial burden.

“I want to be that restaurant owner where someone can say we are in a tight jam right now and need some help. If the cause is worthy we are there,” said Tim McGinnis, owner of The Famous Toastery.

Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina, is a group of women whose children are serving or have served in the United States military.

“Our primary function is to support each other,” said Carol Dion, vice president of Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina. “Nobody knows how you feel when your kid is deployed, like a mother who has been through that.”

The group organizes several events throughout the year to make sure our service members are not forgotten. They place wreaths each December at the Florence National Cemetery, organize Operation Welcome Home and pack hero boxes for troops overseas

“We send out boxes to any of the troops that are deployed. Not only our kids but anybody who gives us an address. If their kid is deployed they get a box,” said Dion.

But that costs money.

“It costs us over $17 for each box that we mail. We do that primarily four times a year,” said Dion. “We usually send somewhere between 100 boxes each time.”

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The Famous Toastery hosts a “Party on the Patio” to benefit the Blue Star Mothers of Coastal                  Carolina.                      Photo: Sharon Tutrone

The Famous Toastery recently held a fundraiser for the group to help offset some of the shipping cost. The restaurant donated $2 from every $10 meal sold during the “Party on the Patio” fundraiser.

“We thought what better way to give back to them so they can continue to do the awesome stuff that they do to send packages overseas to our troops,” said McGinnis.

Dion’s daughter, retired Army Staff Sergeant Melissa Dion, was deployed twice to Iraq. She knows how receiving a package can move mountains when it comes to boosting morale.

“That was just the greatest feeling knowing that I could help them get some mail,” said Melissa. “There are a lot of families who can’t afford it. It’s not cheap, and the post office doesn’t give these families a discount.”

The group will pack boxes at the end of June to send out for the 4th of July holiday.

The Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina are always looking for names of deployed troops to send boxes. For more information on how you can help, just click here.


Blue Star Mothers pack boxes of love for troops overseas


Love is in the air! The Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina join forces to make sure our men and women serving overseas feel the love from America on Valentine’s Day.

“They just remind you that you are not forgotten,” said Melissa Dion, a retired staff Sgt. U.S. Army.

More than 30 volunteers spent a chilly Saturday morning packing over 100 boxes that will head to our servicemen and women who are away from home.  Each box contains toiletries, candy, magazines, soup, and lots of love. Although the boxes won’t bring families closer together, they will provide some familiar comforts.

“Maybe the military gives them exactly what they need, but we try to give them what they really want and that is a piece of home,” said Carol Dion, vice president of Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina.

Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina is a non-profit organization made up of parents who have children serving our country in the Armed Forces. The group frequently gets together to pack boxes to send to our troops. Their reason is simple.

“All we want people to remember is that some of our kids are out there and they are fighting for your freedom,” said Dion. “They are keeping it so that we don’t have another 9-11.”

Some of the boxes will head to Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Kuwait and Germany.

Dion says packing boxes with other mothers whose children are deployed is a form of therapy.

“We stick around because there is always going to be another mother who needs us when her kid deploys,” said Dion “Nobody knows what is it like when the phone rings in the middle of the night and you just crawl right out of your skin because you have no idea.”

Melissa Dion served 22 years in the U.S. Army as a medic. She remembers the excitement when she learned a package was waiting for her.

“You open this random box and you see a beautiful handmade card. You go through the box and you are so happy because there is so much good stuff in there,” said Dion. “If there are families out there that can’t afford to send a box, then they need to look for a Blue Star Mothers group.”

The Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina are always looking for names of deployed troops to send boxes. For more information, just visit their website at