Friday, November 9, 2007

CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS FOR THE TROOPS



CHRISTMAS PROJECT:
1,000 STOCKINGS FOR THE NEWLY WOUNDED TROOPS!
Current pledges: 1,000!!
We made it!
New pledges are still requested for groups stationed in Iraq.

Can you help? I am trying to get families, Scouts, work, church, and school groups who will sign up to purchase, fill, and ship Christmas stockings for the wounded troops just arriving at the LANDSTUHL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER in Germany. They often arrive in nothing but a hospital gown. It can take a very long time for their personal items to catch up with them; often, not until they get all the way back into the USA. They really need our support and cheer! (See other Blog entry: "Wounded Warriors Ministry").

The stockings should be filled and ready for "Santa" to hand out.
You can put as many as will fit into each box. We have usually been able to get 3 in the square FLAT RATE Priority Mail boxes from the US Postal Service if the stockings are not too full. (see info on Mailing Tips).

Christmas packages need to be shipped by Thanksgiving if possible! Since Thanksgiving is a week early this year, PRIORITY MAIL boxes shipped the week after should still arrive before Christmas Eve. Late packages will still be good as the Chaplains will continue to pass out stockings to new arrivals into the first week of the new year.

LRMC patients are a bit different than at Walter Reed Army Hospital (D.C.) or the Brooke Army Hospital (San Antonio). LRMC patients come directly from the "battle field" with no belongings, and are temporary -- ASAP they are sent to the Army hospitals in the USA. That is why we don't have individual names. They come and go frequently.

LETTERS AND STOCKINGS FOR THE WOUNDED SHOULD BE SENT TO:

ONLY if you previously pledged stockings. We have reached the goal LRMC wants (and then some.)
Sharon Southwell, Donation Coordinator

(Aunt Nancy USA project)
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center,
ATTN: MCEUL-CH, Chaplains Office
CMR 402, APO AE 09180


Back-up name on Customs form:
Harp, Erik, Capt LND
(same address)

--------------------------

If you are new and want to send some stockings, please send me an email and I will give you a name and address for troops in Iraq whom I'm collecting for.


November 19, 2007

Hi Aunt Nancy Simioni,

We had several boxes today of stockings from your wonderful donors who have put together incredible Christmas stockings! Thank you for all you have done to get these to us. We will start distributing them on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. 750 is an incredible number and we appreciate all of them. Will let you know as they continue to come in that we have received them.

Thank you again for all you do for our wounded and ill Heroes - they certainly appreciate the support from home represented in every stocking - hand packed with love.

Sincerely,
Sharon Southwell
Donations Coordinator
Wounded Warrior Ministry Center
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center


OTHER STOCKING PROJECTS:


720th MPB:
Stockings are also being collected for "Santa" Craig to pass out at Christmas Eve Services. If you are assigned a soldier in this unit, you can ship the stocking to the CSM.


18th Military Police: If you have a soldier in this group you may send stockings to SGT Delonda Allen for distribution at their Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.

NAMES SHOULD NOT BE ATTACHED TO A STOCKING. They should be "generic".


Dollar stores usually have very nice 12" red and white fluffy stockings for, yep, $1 each.


IDEAS FOR FILLING THE STOCKINGS: (note for 2008: No CDs nor batteries wanted)
Christmas music CD
Current popular music CD
DOMESTIC company phone cards (like AT&T)
Unbreakable Christmas ornament
Mini-candy canes (they don't break like the big ones)
Microwave popcorn packets
Batteries: AA and AAA, 9V
DVDs (no VHS)
Body lotions - small bottles (seal in a baggie)
Travel size shampoo and deodorant
Twizzlers, mixed nuts, and Beef Jerky
Holiday cards signed by family and friends
Cookies, Snacks & Candy, Lots of Candy!!
-- fun stuff for all the holidays! (Drug store shelves are full of fun holiday candy)
Small dice game: LCR (Left/Center/Right)
Nail clippers
Hand-held electronic games
Deck of playing cards
Current magazines, paperback book
Comic books
Toy cars (MicroMachines), paper or balsa wood airplanes, etc.
They love chocolate, and it's a fairly cool month to ship. (just in case: enclose in sealed baggies!)

The Vets suggested maybe something sports oriented like anything from the Red Sox, Yankees, Lions, Red Wings or Bulls. Baseball caps or hey, even baseballs. Don't forget college teams! I'm told that any day of the week they would rather have received something that reminded them of home more than shaving cream!
Santa hat or silly reindeer antlers (again, FUN things!),
Postcards of USA and Christmas scenes
Groups filling many boxes might use these Weblinks:
http://www.orientaltrading.com
http://www.mninternational.com/Patriotic/Catalog.cfm/iCatID/1472
Deck of cards:
http://www.shindigz.com/catalog.cfm?pgp=6w035g

Once you start shopping you'll find LOTS of ideas of your own!

Tie a PINK ribbon on any stockings specifically for the women.

A note from Sharon at LRMC about phone cards:
People get the cards from Sam's Club, Costco and sometimes, I have heard, even the Dollar Store. AT&T is, of course, well known. The most important thing is that they are DOMESTIC cards. They can connect through a base in the United States so they get the total amount of minutes on the card. If they call through the overseas lines on an international card, they won't get as many minutes.
Calling cards are a great item - and much appreciated by the patients.
Thank you,
Sharon


For holiday packages please print out and include a note such as:

We are gladly participating in the
Aunt Nancy USA
"Operation Santa's Helpers" project
www.auntnancyusa.com
Your name/Group Name
Followed by your own personal message
(including a picture of yourself/family/group makes it personal)

It may also be a good idea to include a self-addressed (no stamp required) return envelope in each stocking if you want to know who got it and maybe a reply.






Once you have shipped your stockings, please send me a simple email with the number shipped, destination, and your name in the SUBJECT line. THANKS!!!
Example:

10 Stockings to LRMC Linda Unreal
2 Stockings to 18MPB Cindy Sqeezy
Or, leave the same info in a "Comment" below.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SUBSCRIBERS: I just had 10 boxes of beautiful fabric donated to me to make Christmas stockings for the troops. It's kind of late for this year, but, if you are up to it, email me and I'll give you more info. Also, consider taking some for a year-long project, and get ready for NEXT November!!!