Stockings For Soldiers annual collection now underway
Blue Ridge Communications invites you to share some of the warmth of the yuletide season with Keystone Military Families and their Stocking for Soldiers program.
Keystone Military Families’ mission is to provide caring support for deployed military members in all branches of service to our country; no matter where they are stationed in the world. Our troops give us the freedom to be safe in our homes.
Keystone Military Families provides care packages, special holiday packages, letters, cards and more to raise the spirits of our troops with some of the small comforts of home that we enjoy every day.
Kyle Lord, founder, began the program in 2002, when her son’s unit (PAANG) was being deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In its 16th year of operation, The Stocking for Soldiers program at KMF is now underway.
Cindy Mellinger, Blue Ridge Communications marketing/community relations coordinator states, “Please join us in our 9th year of recognizing and thanking the defenders of our freedom by filling Christmas stockings with the much needed items requested by our troops. As in previous years, we have also sent Christmas cards, with messages of hope and cheer.
Last year our collection weighed in at over 8,600 pounds of donations including food, hygiene and other requested items, over 15,000 cards and $25,500.00 for shipping. What an amazing show of kindness and support. Our goal for the BRC collection site this year is to once again exceed last year’s totals.”
A display is set up in the Blue Ridge Communications’ lobby with brochures and items most requested. We invite you to drop off your donated items until Nov. 18 at Blue Ridge Communications, 804 Academy Heights Ave., Ephrata, to ensure the troops receive their stocking by Christmas.
A list of requested care package items can be found at www.facebook.com/KeystoneMilitaryFamilies or www.keystonemilitaryfamilies.org.
Monetary donations are also needed to ship the stockings, which cost approximately $7.25 each to send. In order to help defray that expense, die cut Christmas card paper stockings will be provided for a $5 per stocking donation. Each card gives you ample room to write a personal message to a service member.
Mellinger stated, “It is our goal to insert a stocking card in each stuffed stocking mailed, simply as a reminder to our men and women overseas that they are not forgotten. The shipping costs for this holiday 2018 season will exceed $36,000. Any support given so that a soldier, away from home during the holidays, may feel the love and caring from back home is appreciated.
Our United States service members daily make sacrifices to keep America free. It is a debt that can never be repaid. Thank you for your support of this very special endeavor. It is important for us to let our soldiers know that we appreciate their dedication not only today… but always!”
As the holiday season draws near, The Salvation Army of Reading is in deep need of volunteer bell ringers to drive its annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign.
The iconic tradition of bell ringers and red kettles is the most recognizable fundraising effort for The Salvation Army, which seeks to raise more than $120,000 in Berks County this season. All donations collected throughout the annual holiday campaign will fund programs that provide hope and change lives year round for Berks County residents.
Bell ringing opportunities are open for individuals and groups starting Monday, Nov. 12. Volunteers are asked to ring bells while standing alongside red kettles for at least a two-hour shift, up to a six-hour shift, Monday through Saturday. Passersby place monetary donations inside the kettles, which will be stationed outside retail locations such as Walmart, Redner’s, Sam’s Club, Boscov’s, A.C. Moore and the Fairgrounds Farmers Market until Dec. 24.
“Volunteers are truly the army behind ‘The Army,’” said Captain Ted Tressler, Corps Officer, The Salvation Army of Reading. “Thanks to their selfless dedication and generosity, we are able to raise crucial funding for programs that support local families in crisis.”
The Salvation Army of Reading is committed to “doing the most good” in the community. Each year it serves more than 25,000 people in crisis through utility assistance, food distribution, holiday assistance, clothing and transportation vouchers and other emergency funds. It provides permanent housing for chronically homeless and disabled individuals, a learning center with after-school programming, early childhood development, teen mentoring, summer camp and adult education classes. In 2016, The Salvation Army of Reading also launched Pathway of Hope, an intensive case management initiative to help motivated families achieve self-sufficiency.
Community members who are interested in volunteer opportunities are asked to contact Captain Sharon Tressler at 610-373-0374 or Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org more information.
Individuals who would like to make a financial donation should visit www.SalvationArmyReading.org, or text ORKREADING to 71777, by using a mobile phone, to make a secure credit card donation. Donations by check may be mailed to 301 S 5th Street, Reading, PA 19602.
Donations are being accepted for the Stockings for Soldiers program.