Christmas and New Year’s are almost here. It's busy. It's hectic. But we each need to remember the meaning of Christmas and share God's love. And we must remember to share God's love with our nation's heroes and their heroic families.
We are here to remind you that it's not too late to brighten Christmas for those who defend our country. We can help you help them. They deserve all the gratitude and kindness we can give. Think about it:
There will be an empty chair at family gatherings in many households while so many brave men and women serve to protect our freedom. But we all can do something to help honor and thank our heroes and their families this Christmas and New Year’s. They are giving up so much so that we all may live in freedom.
At Christmas, it's important to remember our veterans and servicemen and women who have done so much for us. Not all of our servicemen and women and their families can be together for Christmas. That is why we continue our effort called Operation Military Christmas. Please see below to learn ways you can reach out and remember our heroes and their families this Christmas.
Christmas is a special time of year; families and friends gather to celebrate the glorious fact that Christ came to us as a baby. It's also a time of year to count our blessings -including the blessing of freedom.
Carrie and Stacie
Help Bring Christmas to Our Military
At Christmas, we must help bring back the true meaning to our troops, veterans, and their families. Many families will not have loved ones -either because of serving abroad or the ultimate sacrifice of a loved one dying for our country.
So, let's all do our part for veterans, troops, and military families to feel loved this Christmas.
1. Send Christmas care packages to our troops. (Please see details below.)
2. Reach out to our veterans this Christmas. Many veterans, especially WWII veterans, spend Christmas alone in nursing homes. Each American can do something to change that.
3. Military families sacrifice so much, too. If you know a family whose husband, wife, son, daughter, mom, or dad can't come home for Christmas, reach out to them. Give them a Christmas gift, gift card, cookies, or even a greeting card. Do something to acknowledge them and offer your thanks and prayers.
4. Our servicemen and women do without many comforts so that we can live in freedom and peace. For example, did you that when troops are deployed they don't have a pillow to rest on? You can change that through Project Pillows. Click here to learn how you can help. It's easy and so helpful.
5. Send Christmas cards that could add a splash of Christmas color to military quarters. Or, send acceptable Christmas decorations. Write e-mails and attach files that include photos to print off and use for décor. If anything, it will be a day brightener for the recipient.
6. Schedule a Skype call to bring a friendly face from back home into his/her life at Christmas. Not all military families have the technology to Skype with their loved ones in the military. Loan your smartphone or laptop so they can Skype with their loved one over Christmas. Now that would be an incredible gift!
7. Keep a gift card in your purse or wallet. That way you are ready to encourage a veteran on a moment's notice.
8. Keep your eyes open. If you see a need, put some thought into what you can do to help. It's amazing how a small gesture of thoughtfulness can mean so much.
Together we can make a difference. We urge you to do something this Christmas season to support and pray for our heroes and their families. America, now is the time to unite and stand with our military. We need them...but they also need us.
Christmas Virtual Parade for Heroes
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Since COVID-19 cancelled parades and events honoring veterans across the country, we created a "virtual parade" to honor veterans instead. Veterans and military families can submit pictures to us of their loved ones who served by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post it on our web site and in a musical video virtual parade to honor him or her.
Please e-mail us the hero's name, picture, and service information by December 23 to email@example.com. The virtual parade will then be published in an online musical video virtual parade and you will be notified of its publication by e-mail. Thank you so much for the opportunity to honor heros!
How to Send a Care Package
Show your support and appreciation to our servicemen and women and send a care package. It means so much to them to receive something from home. So, get busy and reach out to a hero today. Make it a family project. Here are some tips to send a care package:
1. Shop for items to go in the care package. Include a variety of items such as nonperishable food and snacks like sunflower seeds, beef jerky, hard candy, gum and snack crackers. Useful items like toothpaste, hand lotion, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, shampoo, chap stick, and bath soap are always appreciated. Also include CDs, DVDs, magazines, small games, note pads and pens. If you are preparing a care package for a loved one, include photos, family videos, hand written letters and copies of the local newspaper.
2. Follow the restrictions established for military care packages. Do not send perishable foods or candies that melt. Alcohol, firearms, and any time of weapon are not allowed in care packages. Do not send any product that may be considered harmful such as an aerosol spray can.
3. Use the guidelines established for the care package itself. The package cannot weigh more than 70 pounds. The box or container that is sent must be no more than 130 inches total combined girth and length. The completed care package needs to be sent by way of the United States Postal System by "Priority Mail." If not sent by Priority Mail, the package will take 8 weeks or even longer if mailed during the holiday mailing period.
4. Be sure that you have the correct military address to mail your care package because the package will pass through the Military Post Office (MPO) to be processed to the correct military base or location.
5. Work together with military families in the same unit as your loved one to make sure that all the members of the unit have care packages arriving from home. Ask the home front commanding officer or the assigned contact to stay updated about the military unit's location. Talk to organizations in your community about doing service projects for various military units that may not have a lot of home front support.
Christmas Patriotic Package
Another idea is to give Stacie and Carrie's patriotic book and CD as gifts this Christmas.