The annual Christmas Stocking Workshops organized by Operation Support Our Troops America (OSOT-America) have been operating in full force. Organizers have good intentions to fill and send 5,000 hand-sewn holiday stockings to military men and women serving in harm’s way overseas.
Nancy Baier, affectionately known as “Head Elf” of the Christmas Stocking Workshops, comes from Libertyville to volunteer. A military mother and wife, Baier knows from experience how much care packages are appreciated.
In order to have stockings ready to send in time for the holiday, volunteer workshops are being organized to help stuff stockings from 10AM-1PM on Thursdays and 11AM-1PM on Saturdays through Nov. 1.
To be an OSOT-America volunteer simply requires signing up for membership. There is no membership fee.
“On Saturday (October 13) students from Naperville Central High School volunteered for a shift,” said a very appreciative Betty Krupp, Vice President of the OSOT-America Board of Directors. “The students filled 400 stockings.”
Krupp added that OSOT is always looking for businesses, schools, churches and service organizations to help with collections of much-needed items to pack for the military all year round, too.
OSOT-America also is hopeful some volunteers will sew stockings made from holiday-themed fabrics year round. A simple pattern is available upon request.
Currently blank and signed Christmas cards are a requested need to include with the stockings. Krupp asked that signed cards not be dated. The blank cards can be used by the troops to send greetings back to their families.
After the stockings are stuffed with treats in one room, they are assembled with several other items and packed into plastic bags by volunteers in the kitchen area.
When ready to send, every package includes information about OSOT-America, greeting cards, stationery and pens, along with the stuffed stocking filled with a variety of donated goodies, an ornament and a wrapped gift.
Krupp added that as of Oct. 13, 2,100 stuffed stockings have been boxed up, ready to send to Iraq and Afghanistan.
To sign up to volunteer, to request a stocking pattern, or for directions to the stocking workshop, e-mail Baier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about all the work of OSOT-America, visit www.osotamerica.org.
Photos courtesy of Betty Krupp
The Naperville Field of Honor, an exhibit of 2,012 American flags on Rotary Hill, also will raise awareness and funds for initiatives sponsored by Operation Support Our Troops-America. In addition to stuffing holiday stockings and sending care packages throughout the year since 2003, new projects that benefit veterans such as research on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury will be funded by Naperville’s Field of Honor.
To purchase a flag that comes with a commemorative tag ($35) as part of the display of patriotism from Nov. 8-13, in conjunction with Veterans Day, visit www.healingfield.org/naperville.
Flag order forms also are available at the Naperville Park District Administrative Office, 320 W. Jackson Ave.
All donations of any size are welcome and appreciated. For info, contact Anna Zimmerman, Fundraiser Chair, at (630) 212.5426 or email@example.com.
Volunteers are needed for flag assembly, field set-up and field conclusion. To volunteer, contact Brad Wilson at (630)848-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Operation Support Our Troops America, visit www.osotamerica.org.
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