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Navy Sailor leaves service to run troop care package business

A Navy Sailor with a small vision to help deployed troops has made her passion into a successful business.

NORFOLK, Va (WVEC) – A passionate Navy Sailor had the vision to help deployed troops now runs a small business.

The business started in Chelsea Mandello’s home. She wanted to send care packages to troops overseas because she said she knows the feeling of getting a slice of home.

A lot of times the items the Petty Officer received from family were perishable.

"None of the contents would last, so it was just heartbreaking," she explained.

It prompted her to create Troopster. After more than two years, she has a full-blown office space in Norfolk, thanks in part to help from the community

“It’s just, it’s so rewarding,” Mandello said.

Over the years, the sailor has shipped more than two thousand packages to more than a dozen countries. She has sent supplies to troops in each branch of the military.

Mandello has no plans to slow down.

"My last day in the Navy is May 14th," Mandello said. "It really was an easy decision because I just want to take care of our troops."

There will be an official launch party on Wednesday, April 11th at 9 a.m. It's open to anyone. The new business is located at 1030 W. 24th Street in Norfolk.

Troopster has different websites for its for-profit and non-profit operations.The organization holds monthly packing parties for volunteers to donate and participate.

For more information, click here.

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