3rd Annual Stockings For Soldiers Collection
(Shopping News Photo by Donald Reese)
Many soldiers serving our country in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq will have something to smile about this Christmas as a result of the generosity of Blue Ridge Communications and Pencor offices who embraced the Keystone Soldiers Stockings for Soldiers project.
Keystone Soldiers, a non-profit organization, founded by Kyle Lord (a military mother of a soldier who served 5 tours of duty) began the project in 2002. This year 6,000 stockings will be stuffed and over 25,000 holiday cards will be sent from our communities to the dedicated soldiers who will not be able to enjoy the comforts of home during this holiday season.
Shown in the photo are (left to right): Kneeling: Specialist (Spc.) Gregory Hayward (human resource with the 733rd Engineer Battalion), Amanda Marshall (Reinholds VFW) and Vivian Garman (branch president Loyal Christian Benefit Association). Standing: Lt. Chris McKim (Ephrata Boro Police), Steven Mentzer (State Representative 97th District), Mindy Fee (State Representative 37th District), Kyle Lord (founder Keystone Soldiers), Tina Thompson (legislative assistant for Senator Mike Brubaker 36th District), Cindy Mellinger (BRC Marketing/Community Relations Coordinator and Stockings Coordinator), Gordon Denlinger (State Representative 99th District), Tony Cerase (Red Rose Veterans Honor Guard), Edith Wenrich (Treasurer Loyal Christian Benefit Association) and Ed Kimmel (Red Rose Veterans Honor Guard).
“We appreciate your support for our troops and for Keystone Soldiers,” stated Kyle Lord, founder of Keystone Soldiers. “I would like to thank the Pencor family for their amazing efforts for Keystone Soldiers and for our troops. We have never worked with a group of people who embraced our project with such commitment and vigor. It has been a wonderful experience and is appreciated from the bottom of my heart. This project would not have happened without your support. The employees and donors at Blue Ridge Communications were very special standouts over the holiday season. Their enthusiasm and dedication to our project was unparalleled. This is such an amazing display of the wonderful things that can happen when a community comes together to show their support for our friends and neighbors away from home. These gifts will surely convey the spirit of Christmas and the warmest wishes of the holiday season to every military member who receives them. Thanks so very much for the incredible support again this year. It is wonderful and many more troops will be smiling come Christmas morning.”
Lord also went on to state, “I hope that this collection will spur people to continue in the spirit of giving…not only at Christmas, but throughout the year, in support of our soldiers. It is amazing that in this day and age, there are so many troops who do not receive any personal mail! This initiative seeks to solve that problem and we will never turn away a soldier, sailor, marine or airman (service member) who needs our help!”
Cindy Mellinger, Marketing/Community Relations Coordinator for Blue Ridge Communications stated, “Our collection weighed in at 5,281.8 pounds of donations including food, hygiene and other requested items, over 2,700 cards and more than $3,100 for shipping. Thank you to everyone who embraced this project and to the churches, schools, individuals, businesses, and community groups who took a personal interest in making the holidays brighter for this dedicated group of men and women.” Mellinger continued, “I have been privileged to be the project coordinator for this endeavor for the past three years and each year I continue to be amazed by the overwhelming compassion shown by the Blue Ridge Communications’ viewing area. Due to your generous support, our service men and women will receive a loving reminder from home over the Christmas season. Thank you!”
These gifts will serve as powerful messages of joy and hope to our men and women serving around the world, as they are so appreciative of the outpouring of kindness.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 10 December 2013 11:15)