From the desk of Cindi Bigelow
“The Tea for The Troops idea germinated in a couple of different ways. First, a very, very good friend of mine’s son had just come back from his third tour in Iraq and unfortunately decided to take his life once he got home, leaving his wife and young children. This clearly had an impact on me as it was so terribly tragic.
At the same time, we were all reading a lot about what was happening in the two wars we were facing and how so many of our young people were making significant sacrifices. We had also had purchased the largest tea farm in the United States a few years earlier when we bought the Charleston Tea Garden and I realized we were making tea from those gardens that were 100% American made. That is when I started to ask how could we use our American grown tea to do something special for our men and women fighting for our country. That is when the idea of coming up with a box of tea that was literally a thank you card came to be. We would give our tea boxes for free to any soldier we could!
I then asked my friend who had lost his son to help design the package (he was an artist) and together we wrote a huge thank you card, just to say this product if for you to enjoy or perhaps share with those that are in other countries as a means to get to know them better. Tea is a universal beverage and one in which relationships can be built. It was also written as our way of say that all of us back home are thinking of you and we want to thank you for all you are doing to bring peace to our world.
The program just took off from there—very simply. I contacted a very good friend of mine who is the President of the U.S.O. in the U.S. and he helped get the product onto bases around the world and since then, well the rest is history.
Almost 4 million bags have gone over to different troops in Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea and we want to continue the program. It’s a real source of pride for all of us. We have had accounts ask us to buy the product for them to sell in stores and we have always respectfully declined the offer. Tea for The Troops is not for sale…. it is solely a thank you card from all of us Bigelow Tea to the men and women of uniform.
It’s a program we are all very proud of and we hope it continues for as long as we have soldiers overseas.”