Military mom needs a special delivery

June 5, 2013 Denise Romano
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A Bay Ridge military mom is looking for a way to send packages to her son stationed in Afghanistan without breaking the bank.

Barbara Visconti’s 25-year-old son, Christopher, is an Air Force Sergeant serving overseas. He is also a BRAVO volunteer, who serves a few shifts when he is home on leave and was also a volunteer at the Bay Ridge Animal Hospital.

The Xaverian grad told his mom that he needed coffee. When she went to mail the package like she normally does at the Dyker Heights post office on 13th Avenue, she got an unwelcome surprise.

A post office employee told her that the Dyker Heights Military Postage Fund, spearheaded by Dyker Heights Civic Association President Fran Vella-Marrone back in 2003, recently ran out of funds.

But when contacted by this paper, Vella-Marrone said that there was a misunderstanding.

“We have already raised tens of thousands of dollars worth of postage and every so often money gets low,” Vella-Marrone told this paper, adding that the organization is private and not affiliated with the post office. “But the funds are there and she should be able to mail her package.”

Visconti said that sending over six pounds of coffee and a book to her son would cost between $18 and $25.

“I work two jobs just to make ends meet, I can’t afford to pay $25 a week to send a package,” she said. “I feel horrible because I know he needs this stuff and is relying on me.”

Visconti said hers is a military family. Her grandfather served in the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel for 25 years and her father fought in the Korean War. She said that her son told her that he also needs a coffeepot and coffee mugs.

“They need a lot of things and I would like to send them monthly care packages but the freight charge is just ridiculous,” Visconti said, adding that she has been in touch with Fed Ex and UPS, who told her they don’t offer any discounts and the mayor’s office and 3-1-1 who said the matter was “out of their jurisdiction.”

Vella-Marrone noted that the Military Postage Fund is run solely on donations that are so desperately needed.

“We are going to be soliciting more funds,” she said. “Anyone who wants to give money for the effort can donate.”

Those who want to make a contribution can send it to the Dyker Heights Military Postage Fund, P.O. Box 280205, Brooklyn, NY 11228.

A call to the United States Post Office was not returned.

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