Do What You Have To:
"I launched while I was serving active-duty in the Navy, after having just bought my first home and with ZERO experience. I was terrified, but I believed so much in Troopster and, thanks to the wonderful community and support, Troopster became what it is today. "
~ Chelsea Mandello, CEO
We started off as
a very small business
Troopster launched Thanksgiving Day in 2015, by U.S. Navy Petty Officer Chelsea Mandello while she was still serving active-duty as a Navy Photojournalist. The site was created to give friends and family of deployed service members a more natural way to send their soldiers care packages, but without facing any of the trouble of actually shopping or packing themselves.
The story began nearly two-years before while Mandello was serving aboard her seventh ship during an 11-month deployment to the Fifth Fleet area-of-operations. Forward-deployed and serving a mission against anti-piracy, Mandello like others rarely received mail.
Care Packages, when delivered, was a unique commodity that increased morale and overall wellbeing. Rather than eating unsatisfying, over-processed foods or standing in line to a convenient store style market, those that received care packages could enjoy rare items such as Folgers coffee, Fragrant Downey laundry detergent, photos and letters from loved ones, healthy foods.
The problem though was that when care packages did arrive, often-times items had gone expired, melted or wasn't needed or useful. Many times care boxes that were received were thrown away, despite the heartache that this caused. Mandello coined care packages such as these 'Heartbreak Boxes.'
Mandello, having experienced her own heartbreak box, realized that there should be a better option for those who wanted to help their deployed troops. While still serving active duty, but with a lot of determination Mandello began working early mornings, nights, lunch-breaks and weekends establishing what would later be Troopster.
Troopster Donation Corp. - 501(c)(3)
Shortly after founding Troopster, there was an immediate response from the community to support our deployed troops. Troopster recognized interest to help the men and women serving around the world. Equally, we began receiving correspondence from service members, many stationed overseas and many who lacked care during deployment.
Connecting our troops in need to the community became a new goal. In 2015 Troopster began working with the City of Norfolk, more than 40 local businesses and 200+ volunteers and sent 500 care packages to deployed troops for Christmas.
In 2016 Troopster Donation Corp. was established as an official non-profit organization dedicated to sending care packages to deployed service members with the help of volunteers and donations. Since launching Troopster + Troopster Donation's has sent more than 2,700 care packages to military members serving in more than a dozen countries.
CARE PACKS SENT
LOCAL BUSINESS DONORS/VOLUNTEERS
WHO HAVE VOLUNTEERED
The people that make it happen!
Founder, Chief Executive Officer of
Troopster & Troopster Donation Corp.
Chelsea is a U.S. Navy Veteran and considers herself an 'Idea Man' and serial entrepreneur. After graduating from Ball State University in 2011, Chelsea set her goals to travel the world and develop her experiences through the Armed Forces.
Chelsea worked as a Photojournalist for Navy and had the unique opportunity to see the world, working across 13 countries and nine naval platforms in an official capacity to share the Navy's story through the use of multi-media
In 2014, while serving on board her seventh ship, Chelsea faced an inexplicable hardship that later influenced her to launch Troopster and later Troopster Donation Corp.
As CEO and Founder, Chelsea works tirelessly to expand the reach and efforts of Troopster and Troopster Donation Corp. Her new goal is to make Troopster a house-hold name so that one day
Maurice "Chipp" Naylon
Chief Outreach Officer of Troopster
Chipp served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps from 2009 to 2018, completing multiple deployments in both combat and non-combat environments.
In September 2017, Chipp was in a "Boots to Business" seminar when he first met Troopster founder Chelsea Mandello. Extremely impressed with Troopster and wanting to stay involved with the military in some capacity after completing his service in the Marines, Chipp asked to join the Troopster team. He began working with the organization in November 2017.
In his current role as Troopster's Chief Outreach Officer, Chipp's focus is spreading the word about this awesome organization as far and wide as possible!
Volunteer Coordinator of Troopster Donation
Kaycee is the owner of Create/Captivate Digital Marketing and as a military spouse has been involved in the military community for a decade through her husband, U.S. Navy Sailor and long time best friend
Kaycee’s volunteer experience in the military community has included holding various leadership positions in Family Readiness Groups (Current Events Committee, Vice President, President), as Registration Coordinator and Team Leader for COMPASS Norfolk and as an active volunteer with CORE of Hampton Roads.
As Troopster Donations Volunteer Coordinator, Kaycee is responsible for organizing and overseeing the Troopster Donations Planning Committee and Subcommittees. Working closely with her beloved volunteers and Troopster owner Chelsea Mandello, Kaycee works diligently to ensure that Troopster Donations is continually expanding their ability to provide donated care packages to deployed service members through marketing, promotions and community outreach programs while maintaining the high quality of professionalism associated with the Troopster brand.