STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Stationed and deployed troops from Door and Kewaunee Counties will feel the holiday spirit this Christmas season, even though they're away from home.
Retired paramedic and founder of Adopt-A-Soldier Door County, Nancy Hutchinson, dedicates her time to making sure active duty troops are feeling loved by sending them CARE packages. The packages are filled with snacks, personal care items and cards.
"We just packed the boxes for Thanksgiving Sunday night. I had several students from Gibraltar and Sturgeon Bay volunteer here, and in a couple weeks we'll be packing the Christmas boxes," said Hutchinson.
Before Hutchinson packs this year's Christmas boxes, she wants to include items that will make the troops feel like they're home for the holidays.
"I've got a lot of kids right now that are just being deployed over to Syria and Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Hutchinson, “Obviously they're not going to be home with their families, and we want them to feel like they’re at home, so we're trying to send them the things that they're going to be missing.”
Hutchinson says she needs the community's help in gathering holiday items so the Christmas spirit can be felt, no matter how far away troops may be from their families.
"They're away from home, they're away from their families,” says Hutchinson, “They may or may not be in an area where they can communicate with their family over the holidays, too, so it may be ‘I'll get back to you in two weeks when I get a chance to go online and talk to you.’"
The donated items have to fit in a 12 x 12 x 5 inch box, and are due before Thanksgiving.
"Send us little ornaments, lights or trees, and we'll put those in the boxes, or a garland, anything to make them feel like it's a holiday," Hutchinson adds.
Hutchinson says active duty military families will also know they're remembered this holiday season.
"We are going to send these teddy bears to the local troops from Door and Kewaunee and also the Coast Guard. For those who have children under the age of 10, each child will get a bear from Build-A-Bear," said Hutchinson.
Those who don’t have time to grab small Christmas items can cover the shipping fees by 'adopting a box.' For more information click here.
Adopt-A-Soldier says the following items are needed:
Snack Pack Pudding
Fruit Snacks Chapstick (lip balm)
Deodorant (NO AEROSOLS)
Snack Pack Jello
Feminine Hygiene Products
Coffee (Single Packs)
Hand and foot warmers
Jelly (NO GLASS JARS)
Sunscreen (NO AEROSOLS)
T-Shirts (Large) (White)
Powdered Drink mixes
Instant Potatoes (in pouch)
Lipton Noodles or Rice
Canned soups, chili, Ravioli etc.
Raisins or dried fruit
Tuna or Chicken in the Pouches (NO CANS)
Nerf Footballs (Med Size)
Beef Jerky (NO PORK)
Ziploc Bags (Quart & Gallon)
Mac N Cheese
Small Board Games
Socks (Mens & Womens Large)
Word Search or Puzzle Books
Crayons, Colored Pencils
Batteries (AA & AAA)
Store bought snacks (i.e. cookies, granola bars, cheese crackers, pop tarts )
Any questions please contact: Nancy Hutchinson, 414-333-6648
Items and Cash Donations can be dropped off at: Nicolet Bank in (Brussels, Sturgeon Bay 4th Ave & Maple St., Sister Bay), Associated Bank (Downtown), North Shore Banks (East & West), Door County Daily News, Capital Credit Union, Mikes Port Pub, Institute Saloon, & AmericInn
Donations can be made and mailed out to:
Adopt A Soldier Door County Inc.
5676 Trails End Ct.
Sturgeon Bay, WI. 54235
Adopt-A-Soldier is a non profit 501(C) (3) charitable organization and can provide a receipt if needed.