- Kevin D. Thompson Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Forgotten Soldiers Outreach is looking for a new home.
The anonymous owner of the Lake Worth space where the nonprofit has been shipping care packages to U.S. soldiers serving overseas for 15 years told the group on Friday that he must now rent out the space no later than May 1.
The 1,925-square-foot location is at 3550 23rd Avenue, off Boutwell Road, near Interstate 95.
“We’ve been here 9 years and he generously donated this space to us,” said Lynelle Zelnar, Forgotten Soldiers Outreach executive director and founder. “We need a larger space anyway, we’ve outgrown this location. We’re in need of a 2,000 plus square foot location.”
Zelnar said the group would like to stay in Palm Beach County. “Definitely somewhere in the immediate area — Lake Worth, Wellington, Boynton Beach, Lantana,” she said. “We want to stay in Palm Beach County for the convenience of our volunteers.”
Before moving to Lake Worth, Forgotten Soldiers Outreach was in Boynton Beach. Zelnar said the group has never paid rent.
“I don’t want to because it takes away from the money we need to ship the care packages,” she said. “It’s not just a luxury, they’re requesting specific items. It’s our job as a U.S. citizen to make sure they’re not forgotten and to boost their morale.”
Since starting in 2003, the group said it has benefited more than 400,000 soldiers.
Zelnar said she hasn’t heard from anyone yet on finding them a new location. “We just put this out,” she said. “Hopefully this article will do it.”
She declined to name the space donor, saying he preferred to remain anonymous. “He did this out of the generosity of his heart,” she said. “He always wanted to be anonymous and never wanted any attention or wanted anyone to know what he’s done.”
The owner is going to rent the space for business reasons, Zelnar said. “It’s nothing negative,” she said. “After nine years he needs the space (to rent). I have no problems with that and we’re very grateful for him providing this for nine years.”
Zelnar said if someone doesn’t come through, the nonprofit would close. “I don’t even want to go there,” she said. “I’m very positive that our community will support us. They’ve supported us for 15 years. Troops are still being deployed and with everything going on in the world, the need is more important than ever.”
If you’re interested in helping, call Zelnar at 561-369-2933.