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TAMPA, Fla (WLFA) – An Ybor City organization is working to support our troops by giving Cigars for Soldiers, a unique way to say thank you for their service with a gift that represents Ybor City.

In a joint effort with the non-profit Support Our Troops, the Ybor City Development Corporation has been collecting ‘Cigars for Soldiers’ for around a decade.

“I put three different cigars in a packet,” said Robert Alorda, Ybor City Ambassador and a retired military member. “They have a little note for the cigars for soldiers and it’s from Ybor City.”

Alorda told 8 On Your Side that cigars are one of the most requested items from troops overseas.

“It’s because they cannot get it overseas,” added Alorda.

He said giving the cigars to the troops helps brighten their spirits.

“You know how kids get all happy and jolly when they get a gift at Christmas, that’s the way these guys are when they get cigars. They are like ‘Wow I got this brand’ they talk brands, sometimes they swap cigars, which is a good thing,” Alorda said.

Alorda knows how much getting a gift from home can make a difference when serving.

“I was in the service, and I know I needed something from home. Some guys didn’t get anything from home. So, this is helping everyone,” added Alorda.

The Ybor City Development Corporation collects cigars and donations all year long for their Cigars for Soldiers effort.

If you are wanting to donate money or cigars for the cause, you can contact the Ybor City Development Corporation by calling 813-274-7936.