(Editor’s Note: The following article was submitted by Blue Star Mothers.)
The Annual Blue Star Mothers Holiday Project of hand-decorating 300 felt Christmas stockings for service men and women is well under way! Decorating the stockings was held Nov. 6 at the Buffalo American Legion and many stopped by to help decorate and stuff the stockings! Once the stockings are decorated and stuffed with goodies, community members began shipping them to deployed service members or veterans that are unable to be with their families for the holidays.
Items collected included: beef jerky, beef sticks, tuna or chicken pouches, crackers/cookies, teddy grahams, sunflower seeds, Cliff bars, nutrition bars, pringles/chips in a can, ramen noodles, kool-aid (in stick packs), mini candy canes, propel power sticks, crystal light on the go packs, nutty bars, star crunch, baby wipes, disposable hand and foot warmers, Q-tips - travel size, activity books such as crossword puzzle, Sudoku, word search, playing cards, Uno, Phase 10, dice, travel games such as cribbage, Bunco, Yahtzee, rubics cube, hackey sac, baseball, tennis ball, frisbee, silly string.
All items (excluding frisbees) must be able to fit inside the stocking so food items needed to be individual serving sizes.
Each year Blue Star Mothers participate in the Halloween give back program through Wright County area schools so there will be plenty of candy to add to the stockings. Three hundred chapstick have already been acquired as well as Girl Scout cookies. Blue Star Mothers would accept more boxes of Girl Scout cookies if anyone has any to donate. Please no mints or gum.
In addition to the donated items, Blue Star Mothers are accepting monetary donations. Shipping this project costs approximately $3,000 each year in addition to costs for the stockings, decorating supplies and other items needed to be purchased to meet the quota of 300. Checks may be sent to: Blue Star Mothers, PO Box 234, Buffalo, MN 55313.
Homemade Christmas Cards or Thank-You for Your Service cards are also needed. Each year organizers like to send three or four cards per stocking, meaning a grand total of 900-1200 handmade cards. Packages will be mailed this week so they arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.
Also being accepted are addresses for loved ones in the military! If anyone would like the Blue Star Mothers to include their loved one in the annual holiday project please email their name and complete address along with how they are related (so volunteers can include that information in the package) to: President.MN13@BlueStarMothers.us. Blue Star Mothers will include a message stating who gave the organization their address. Also please notify them in advance to be expecting a package from the Blue Star Mothers from a Buffalo address, for safety purposes.
Jen Pecarina of Blue Star Mothers sent in the following update on this story to the Patriot:
“The stockings are decorated! We had so many community members from all over the county help decorate the stockings! From the very young children, carried in a backpack, to grandparents. The stockings look wonderful! I’m sure that every hero that receives one this year will be thrilled! Now we need to collect the items to go inside the stockings!” (Which they did.)
About Blue Star Mothers
Blue Star Mothers are mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians who have children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or children who are veterans. Members support each other and their children while promoting patriotism. The organization focuses on their mission every single day and will never, ever, forsake the troops, veterans, or the families of our Fallen Heroes.
Blue Star Mothers has nearly 6,000 members from over 200 Chapters throughout the nation.