Monday, November 3, 2008

LRMC Wounded Warriors Ministry - 500 Christmas Stockings wanted

The Chaplains at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) run the "Wounded Warriors Ministry". Soldiers are often medevac'd to LRMC directly after getting injured. These are the more seriously hurt or ill. They often arrive only in a hospital gown. The Ministry provides items of comfort to "fill holes" until their personal belongings catch up with them.

Last year, with your help, 1,000 Christmas stockings were sent and passed out to the troops arriving at this US Army Hospital in Germany. This year they only need 500, but so far participation has been very low. I hope you can help!

Let me know if you can make and send a couple or motivate your friends and co-workers to contribute a larger number, it will be greatly appreciated!

This is a picture of some of your stockings arriving in Germany last November.

Groups wanting to prepare large numbers of cards should make them Get-Well cards. The hospital receives thousands of Christmas cards this time of year, and can't use all of what they get. If you send a bunch, do not seal the individual cards. Use the large USPS Mili-pacs envelopes to mail several cards at a time. Most post offices do not stock these, but they can be ordered online easily. DO NOT SEND ANYTHING DIRECTLY TO THE HOSPITAL, or anything addressed to "Any Soldier" etc!

These young troops really enjoy hand-held electronic games.
Teen youth groups could be encouraged to collect some, or the iPod shuffles and iTunes cards. Do not put them in the stockings -- put them in an envelope inside the same box as the stockings.

Here's a recent note from my contact at LRMC -- (contacts change each year)
"As for what I need, just your continued support of the WWMC. We couldn't operate without donors! I can tell you that from last year, the wounded warriors loved taking a stocking. Some had to be persuaded, but everyone left with a smile on their face!"

Some suggested items for the Christmas stockings for the wounded:
CANDY! Chocolate, Twizzlers, M&Ms, whatever! Lots of it!
Find fun holiday versions of the goodies -- those are especially welcome in stockings.
Small candy canes - they don't break as much in shipping.

Small cans of chips and cookies, chewing gum, beef jerkey
Fun stuff from local drug stores - small novelties, decorations
Girl Scout Cookies are LOVED!
Healthy snack bars
"Little Debbie"-type treats
A Get Well card or a Christmas card may be inserted into the stocking.

Breath-mint strips
Small hand-held mirrors
Nail clippers
Travel size Gold Bond Powder
Travel size shower gel
*Phone cards – Domestic only with no expiration date
*iTunes Cards
*iPod Shuffles
*Hand-held electronic gamesDVDs (no extreme violence or nudity – no VHS tapes)
*These last items should NOT be put in the Christmas stockings; keep them separate.

The younger generation has many of the newer electronic gadgets. They no longer need music CDs, nor AAA batteries, for instance! Now they mostly download music from the internet. It's tough keeping up with them!

Some veterans have told me that the troops would rather receive sports teams news, caps, pictures, or shirts, than shampoo any day!

Below is a list of items NOT needed.
Check it out because there are some items on it I previously suggested some of you should send. I'll update it if I get new info. This list came from Landstuhl.

Wounded Warrior Ministry Center
Pastoral Services Division
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center


As of this time we have no need for anything not on the current list (updated regularly). Thank you for your generosity. Please DO NOT send the following:

No International phone cards, or phone cards that have an expiration date
NO CDs, Video tapes
No AA or AAA nor any size batteries
No magazines, books, puzzles, sudoko games
No Books, Playing cards
No Bar soap, large and hotel size
No Bubble bath, salts
No Hair conditioner
No Large toothpaste
No Toothbrushes
No Combs
No Lip Balm/Chapstick
No Make-up and facial creams, nail polish, etc. including samples
No Hair pins and bands
No Q-tips
No Large economy size toiletries
No Small hotel size toiletries
No Lap blankets/double, queen or king size blankets
No Women’s underwear
No Feminine products
No Men’s white or color briefs
No Pencils (mechanical pencils okay), erasers and pencil sharpeners
No Writing paper
No Blank greeting cards
No Signed holiday cards (Christmas, Valentines, Easter, etc.) Please only send a very few – we receive thousands more than the number of patients that come in all year and cannot possibly distribute them all.
No Over the counter medications/any medications
No Coffee mugs
No Candles, matches, lighters
No Canned food
No Any knitted items
No used items and please,
No Used clothing – or clothing with stains or holes or broken zippers, missing buttons, etc.