Readers invited to participate
Stockings for Soldiers
The Lehigh Valley Press invites you to share some of the warmth of the yuletide season with Keystone Military Families and the Stockings 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.
The organization provides care packages, special holiday packages, letters, cards and more to raise the spirits of the troops.
Kyle Lord began the program in 2002, when her son’s unit was being deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lord created a website where friends and family could keep in touch with their loved ones overseas and soldiers could see things were also being taken care of at home. Other units from Pennsylvania began asking if they, too, could use the website. By 2003, Lord was receiving requests from military families asking for basic essentials to be shipped to the troops.
“There will be between 19,000 to 22,000 troops in the Middle East region during the 2018 holiday season and another 28,000 in Korea,” Lord said.
Cindy Mellinger, Blue Ridge Communications marketing/community relations coordinator, is handling the donations for the Pencor family of companies, which includes Lehigh Valley Press. Debbie Galbraith, editor, East Penn Press and Salisbury Press, is coordinating donations in the Lehigh Valley office.
“Please join us in our ninth year of recognizing and thanking the defenders of our freedom by filling Christmas stockings with the much-needed items requested by our troops,” Mellinger said.
“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 for shipping,” Mellinger said.
We invite our readers to drop off donated items at 1633 N. 26th St., Allentown, between Oct. 1 and Nov. 9.
A list of requested care package items can be found at keystonesmilitaryfamilies.org or facebook.com/KeystoneMilitaryFamilies.
For questions, contact Galbraith at 610-740-0944, ext. 3705.