Dear 2023 "Stockings For Soldiers" Friends:
THANK YOU to our wonderful Team Leaders and wonderful volunteers who worked so hard together to accomplish so much for our members of the military deployed all over the world. THANK YOU, to all our fabulous volunteers who helped us to have such a terrific 20th Year of sending our special stockings to our wonderful troops so they will know that the great folks in Delaware and all over America are thinking of them. THANKS so much everyone for all your donations, contributions, hard work, good will, kindness, patience, smiles, sense of humor and Volunteer Spirit. We ALL worked together and it was fabulous. We are so extremely grateful to the great folks of Acadia Realty Trust Corp who allowed us to work in such a fabulous space!! Yeay!!!
Our 20th Annual "Stockings For Soldiers" community project was a wonderful success. This year, we were able to send 9,000 special stockings to our troops. We're so proud to know that so many of our brave members of the military will know how much we respect and appreciate all they are doing for our Great Country.
Our 2023 Official Stats:
Over 1,200+ Volunteer Elves - sent over 9,000 homemade Christmas stockings and our boxes weighed a total of 32,000 pounds. Our fabulous volunteers came from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and surrounding areas and from ALL over America, great folks joined with us. In addition, we sent over 9,000 Star Packs for our troops and over 800 knitted hats. We also sent over 9,000 personal greeting cards and many hundreds of letters of appreciation from children from many, many schools.
We sent over 1,050 boxes, filled with all the great Goodies that you all donated for the stockings. This year, our stockings went to our troops in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Djibouti, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Okinawa, Saudi Arabia and the US Border towns in Texas. We also sent 18 boxes to our K9 Soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait. We can never forget our canine heroes. We sent our boxes to 25 different zip codes and supported 98 different groups who requested our stockings.
Our Stocking project was such a Team Effort. Each and every person has played a very important part in its success. We could not have succeeded without everyone's help. Sincere Thanks go to all our 1,200+ kind and generous local volunteers and our great friends who live far from here, but who have sent us their donations and contributed greatly to the success and completion of this community project.
At the bottom of this post are a few of the notes of appreciation received back from our troops. All of their notes will be posted under the "Thank You's" section of our website.
At this time, I would like to mention just a few of our special Friends: I appreciate everything that all of you did to work so hard, so quickly, so efficiently and so successfully. I know our troops are so grateful and were so happy to receive our Goodies. Because of our combined efforts, we were able to touch the hearts of Nine Thousand of our most precious young men and women who are bravely Serving their Country.
Thank You so very much to the generous and wonderful owners of our working location in the Brandywine Town Center. We are very grateful to the terrific folks at The Acadia Realty Corp ♥ who allowed us to use their fabulous space for our project once again this year. Very Special THANKS to Ashley O., John D., Karalynn H., Debbie L., Dan C., Steve and their team for all their wonderful kindness to us.
Our sincere THANKS go to the wonderful and generous members of the Rotary Clubs of Delaware, Delaware, Maryland and West Chester. Their support has been invaluable all these years. Special THANKS to the Caesar Rodney, Wilmington Rotary Club, West Chester, Christiana Rotary and Camden Wyoming Rotary Clubs. We are grateful to the Wilmington Kiwanis Club and the Elks Club in Sussex County.
Our sincere THANKS go to the wonderful Girl Scout and our Boy Scout volunteers. These terrific leaders have been so important to us because they are teaching their Scouts the importance of volunteering. Their enthusiasm, helpfulness and hard work are so much appreciated.
Our sincere THANKS go to the wonderful members of the RC Dupont American Legion Post # 18 of Claymont. These special friends made sure that our “Packing Dept.” ran smoothly and efficiently. They were the ones receiving the stockings and packing up all the boxes. They were invaluable in helping our stockings to get into the right boxes with their enthusiasm, helpfulness and hard work.
A special THANK YOU goes to WestPoint.Org for getting us started each year to contact our West Point deployed Grads. They also handle our online donations and we are so honored to be a part of their West Point family.
A special THANKS goes to Christine Kubik and in year's past, Dawn Peet, for their years of assisting us to contact the deployed members of the military from the National Guard from all over the US to be included in our project. This year, we supported deployed National Guard troops from many states.
Our sincere THANKS go to the wonderful State Office of Volunteerism (SOV) and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and their Volunteer Delaware 50+ organization (formerly RSVP). This wonderful group of folks in all 3 Delaware counties set up collection boxes at many locations for our project. We are grateful to Ann Gorrin and her great Team in Sussex County and the teams in New Castle and Kent counties for all their great assistance. They allowed so many people to make so many donations, and to feel like they were participating with something special for our U.S. Service Members. So many wonderful volunteers made a tremendous amount of donations. It was such an important part of project. In addition, we had so many wonderful Sussex Country residents who worked so hard for our troops. Special THANKS to Marianne & Carl Sheran and T.J. Healy for spearheading so many collection drives. Thanks also to the Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach, Roberta Bass and her fabulous and generous family members, our great Millsboro friends and Maureen Walker and the Millville-By-The-Sea Community for all their fabulous donations as well as so many new friends who helped us so much. Special THANKS also to Jay and Gopi and the wonderful members of "Charity Crossing". They helped us so may evenings and we really appreciated their assistance.
Our sincere THANKS go to over 1,200+ hard working volunteers who came to our Stocking Store to donate their time, purchase Goodies for our troops, donate needed funds and who brought a cheerful, happy-to-help attitude. Thank You to all these new friends and to our dedicated Team Leaders who maintained the continuity needed throughout the week and who worked so hard to keep this community project going. Our community endeavor was tremendously successful because friendly folks of like-minded attitudes all worked together, beautifully, to achieve such a high level of success and cooperation.
My deepest THANKS to our Wonderful Team Leaders for making everything look so "easy". They are so very important to the success of our project and we are so grateful for their kind hearts and dedication to out members of the military. Special ♥ Thanks to you all for coming over most every night and working so hard to help our volunteers. Here is our Wonderful Winning Team:
|Rae Ann, Emma & Dylan
|Traci, Steve, Ben & Will
|Sandy & Fury Fecondo
|Sarah & Alec Foster
|Shannon & Audrey Frazier
|Denise & Marissa Lazar
|Rich & Holly Osman
|Donna & Sam Pelletier
|Marianne & Carl Sheran
|Peg & Jon Stewart
A Big Welcome to our new 2022 Team Leaders: Jeff Williams, Gopi Srini, Jolie Chen & Family, Marie Kennel, Debbie Rhodunda, Julieann & Max Troy.
2023 - The proud accomplishments of our volunteers include:
- We received over 10,000 beautifully home sewn stockings. Thank you to Barbara S., Sheila, Louise, Jean and their great Team for keeping everything organized.
- We received over 800+ beautifully hand knitted hats from Chari and Warmth4Warriors.
- We received over 9,000 personal greeting cards to go with each stocking.
- We received over 800+ letters of support for the troops from school children.
- We received over 6,000+ packets of "Snowman's Soup" (hot cocoa) from our great friends at Bank Of America. THANK YOU, Barbara O. and your wonderful team.
- We received over 10,000 decks of playing cards from Caesar's Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. Thanks to J.D. and his Team.
- We received over 10,000 Ziploc bags to mail our stockings from The Castle Bag Company
- We received over 9,275 pairs of socks from the great Bombas Company. Wow!!
- We received thousands of toothbrushes, toothpaste from our great Dental community. Special Thanks to Benco Dental, Carla Rawheiser and Progressive Dental, Patterson Dental Supplies, Oral Healthcare of DE, and Alpine and Raffeto, Dr. Ben Parenti, The Dental Group in Lewes, DE, Dr. Steven Wright and many, many Dental offices.
- We received great assistance from our printing community. Special Thanks to Kathie Simmons, Dawn Doherty, Steve Donze of Brandywine Drumlabels and Aztec Printing and Design.
- We received over 9,000 paperback books from the Friends of Hockessin Library, Avon Grove Lions Club, Kennett Square Resale Book Shop, All Around Books, many friends in Lewes, DE, Foxfield Residents and many others. Special Thanks to Bruce for managing all these great donations.
- We received over 9,000+ Star Packs for our troops from our great Start Pack Team. Annette L., Lorraine F., Tina M. & friends, Kim D. and Jenn G. We thank the Holy Rosary Boy Scout Troop 61 for the proper disposal of the U.S. flags that cannot be flown anymore. We are tremendously grateful to the Gettysburg Flag Company of New York for their donations of so many special US flags so we could make more Star Packs. Thank You also to the American Legion and the DAR for their old flags. See our website for more information on helping us to make our Star Packs.
- We received tons of Halloween candy from Dr. Ron Briglia & many other wonderful families and school and church groups.
- We received 1,000 beautiful homemade stockings from our great friends at Cokesbury Village with the wonderful leadership of Ginni Rothrock, Marian S. and their team.
- We received 1,000 beautiful stockings from Shirley Pierce and the great sewing team at LadyBug Quilt Guild.
- We received over 1,000 stockings from Karen Kutch and Ann Rose from VA. How wonderful!
- Special THANKS to Denise and Traci for personally “personalizing” most of the stockings for our troops. They are amazingly fantastic Team Leaders. ♥
- We received tons of donated items and extra funds from all the great students and staff from so many schools. We especially appreciate those students who came over to work with us while they received credit through their Community Service programs. Special THANKS to the students at Concord High School, Neumann College, Rowan Automotive Engineers, University of Delaware, Immaculate Heart of Mary students, Wilmington University, Chichester High School, Brandywine High School, Appoquinimink High School, Lombardy Elementary, St. Mary Magdalene students, Ursuline Academy, Mt. Pleasant High School, West Chester University, Caesar Rodney High School, 4 H students, Middletown High School and so many more great schools.
- We received many tons of donated items from our great friends at RSVP, Delaware Volunteers 50+ from Sussex County. Thank You to Ann Gorrin, Danielle & Team and all their great Assistant Elves for their invaluable assistance.
- We received over 32,000 pounds of Goodies from many, many schools, churches, synagogues, community groups, exercise groups, senior centers, Libraries, Rotary Clubs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, student athlete teams, wonderful local businesses and many new friends from all over the USA. Special THANKS to Kelly Messner and Gee Joseph and their great team from DuPont who donated so many, many items from all their different offices, near and far. All these great donations were Sorted by our great Team Leaders: Carol W., Shannon F., Audrey F., Kara K., Linda L., Rae Ann B., Emma B., Rich O., Holly O., Mona K., Elaine S., and so many more Volunteers.
- Special Thanks to Howard S., Diane Z., Donna Z., Lynn G., for keeping our Stuffing line running smoothly. Yeay, Team.
- We enjoyed working with over 1,200+ volunteers who came by to help us at our “Stocking Store.”
- Special Thanks to our wonderful SFS Scheduler, Jenn G. who kept our Calendar in perfect order.
- To all our Great Volunteer Groups: Please be sure to Register your group with us on our website so we know who will be joining us each night.
- Special Thanks to all our Greeting Card writers. We received over 15,000 cards written by our wonderful volunteers. Thank you to the many, many, many groups who sent us thousands of thoughtful Greeting Cards from all over the USA. Our card writers were from Florida to Maine and New Jersey to Arizona. Thank you to our young volunteers who helped us each night to write their cards. Thanks to Sandy F. for helping us for so many years and now thanks to Lynn G. for keeping our Card Dept. so organized.
- Special Thanks to Paul C., Matt C. and our friends at the Del Monte Company for bringing us over 1,500 empty Apple boxes, which allowed us to mail our stockings. Special Thanks always to Frannie and the WestRock Company for giving us their great Corn Flakes boxes that we are still using. Such great friends!!
- Special Thanks to Peg & Jon S. for packing up the Goodies for our K9 Heroes and their Handlers. This year we only had 2 groups to support, but we sent them 18 boxes.
- Special Thanks to the wonderful members of the American Legion Post 18 who took care of the Packing of the stockings into the boxes. Thank You Lisa, Peter, Lyman, Matt, Tom, Tom, Jeff, Troy, Dylan B., Troy T. and all their team.
- Special Thanks to Bank of America for all their wonderful contributions and donations. Especially to our Assistant Elf: Barbara J. Oliphant, Damodar, Anand, Jane, Terri, and Vijay and their great BOA associates for donating over 6,000+ packets of Snowman Soup. So great!!! Wow...
- Special Thanks to so many students who wrote such sweet and thoughtful letters to our troops. So many students helped but a special Thank you to the students and staff of Lancashire Elementary and our great friend Susie Murdock for her leadership. Thank You to Sarah Foster and her students at Forwood Elementary.
- We processed over 1,050 boxes on-line in 3 days, Very Special Thanks to Sam Y. and his great I.T. Team including Anita, Pam and great volunteers.
- Super Special Thanks to Mr. Fred Smith, President of FedEx and his wonderful Team of Heather and Hillary for taking our 825 boxes in a FedEx truck to the APO in Chicago. We ran into a postage problem if we mailed our boxes from Delaware, so we now send our boxes directly to the APO post office in Chicago at the same rate we paid before the postage increase. We are so very grateful for their kindness and great assistance. THANKS also to Brenda and her team at the Army Post Office Annex in Chicago who took excellent care of our boxes when they arrived.
- THANK YOU to Steve C., Aaron Brown, Chris, the driver and Ms. Rita at UPS for picking up our 234 boxes going to the Texas Border.
- THANK YOU to the great folks at Endicia.com who took such great care of us and helped with our Custom Form procedures. Thanks to Alan B. We're very grateful.
- Special Thanks to Tom, Matt, Ben, Steve, Troy, the great US Veterans from Amazon in Middletown, Rowan Engineers and all the volunteers for helping to organize and load the FedEx trucks and to those friends who closed the boxes and carried them to the waiting FedEx truck.
- A special Thank You to Bumpers & Company, John Mager and Doug Kook, our wonderful accountants who help us to maintain our 501.c.3 nonprofit Delaware corporation status. Special Thanks to our long time Team Leader, Cathy Morgan, who does such a great job as our fabulous bookkeeper.
- A Very Special Thanks to ALL the volunteers who came over each night to lend a hand. We couldn't accomplish all we did without everyone's great help. We can't say THANK YOU enough.♥
Here are just a few of the first notes from our deployed troops that we received:
We received our first set of boxes today!! Thank you so much for your hard work on this project. Morale was instantly uplifted! Here is footage of us working on sorting through the bags to distribute.
Respectfully, Stephen V.
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI)
Thanks to you and your team for the care package! It made it to Jordan and
was a wonderful surprise seeing it today. The stocking was a nice touch.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
MSG Justin C.
138th FAB, Task Force Thunder
Guam National Guard
An unexpected holiday surprise for our SECFOR VI troops from community organizations in Delaware and Pennsylvania!
Thank you for the holiday love!
Stockings For Soldiers - Delaware, Inc.
Rotary Club of Wilmington, Delaware
Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay
West Point Parents Club of Delaware
Good Morning Judy,
I hope this email finds you well during the holiday season. I am currently deployed with my unit to the Middle East and your Holiday Gift(s) were truly a special gift during this time, being away from my family.
It is my first deployment and it has been extremely challenging for all of us; being away from my family, however during the holidays makes it just a little more somber.
I wanted to say THANK YOU! for the gift. It truly made my day and makes the sacrifice of being deployed feel just that much better. We are continuing to do our best over here to ensure everyone back home is safe and I know all of us would do it again in a heartbeat knowing we have the support from great people like yourself back home!
Again, thank you so much for the time and energy to put together a special gift for myself and my many soldiers deployed here to the Middle East. We greatly appreciate it!
Best Regards, Nick B.
This is a special note from a few years ago:
Judy Travis and all,
Greetings from overseas! Thank you for the thoughtfulness and cheer you have brought to many here. The messages and beauty will remain with us throughout the year. I am especially fond of the individual expressions, and warmth conveyed throughout, the care is brightly sincere.
Thank you for passing on the light.
V/R and best, Elizabeth B.
This is a special note from a few years ago:
Good morning Judy Travis,
I wanted to reach out and express my gratitude for you and all of those who helped put together the Christmas Stockings for my soldiers. Every soldier was ecstatic to receive a personal stocking which had their name on it. For many soldiers, this was the only gift they received, and it meant so much to them. Please share with all of those involved in this wonderful organization you have, that we appreciate all that you do to support us oversees. We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and may God continue to bless you all!
Very Respectfully, Charles B., CPT, AV, HHC Commander, 1-10 ARB
Again, this is a Special note from a few years ago:
"... Any little act of kindness goes a long way and we all greatly appreciate you (all) and all of the time and effort you put into making these packages. I personally had grown up in Foster Care and I have never had a stocking before let alone one with my name on it. My appreciation to you (all) can not be explained in words. My wife had sent a package but it will not be here before Christmas. I am excited now that I have something that I can open on Christmas. Thank you..." J.G.
Hello Again, Stockings For Soldiers FRIENDS:
Be sure to look for all our troop photos & their notes to us under our "Thank You's" menu.
It has been such a wonderful honor for me to coordinate this great project and to work with so many exceptionally great folks. Thank You to all our volunteers who have helped us to send some special Hugs and Smiles to our troops deployed all over the world, proudly representing America. They all know that it is not about candy, cookies or Beanie Babies, it's about what's in your hearts. Thank You, everyone, for all your continued support.
Here are some of our Great Sewing Volunteers:
|Cokesbury Village Sewing Team, DE
|Wenonah Depot Quilters, NJ
|Clearview Regional High School, NJ
|Karen Kutch, VA
|Ann Rose, VA
|Lebanon United Methodist Church, OH
|Sandra Kendall, MD
|Linda Koenig, Oakwood Village, DE
|Debbie Bing, St. Paul Lutheran Church, OH
|Kristine Devlin, PA
|Maris Grove Sewing Volunteers, PA
|Sandra Kendall, WV
|Clara Simpers, DE & TX
|Kim Brady, DE
|Sue Immerzeel, AZ
|Many Anonymous Sewing Volunteers
|Debbie Johnson, MN
|Lady Bug Quilt Guild, DE
|Stony Brook Sew & Vacuums, NJ
|Cozy Comforters of Joplin First Church, MO
|Faith Jacobsen, ID
|Rexburg Idaho Sewing Team, ID
|United Church of Christ at Valley Forge, PA
|Anne Marie Kesling, PA
|Jane Kipp, DE
|Linda Hicks & West Chester Rotarians, PA
|Linda Bunge, MI
|Bev Lyons, NJ
|Ruth Vonada, PA
|Sewing Volunteers from Sussex County, DE
|Stitch & Share Group, Baymont Farms, DE
|Paulette Woods, MD
|John J. Leach School, DE
|Cindy Fritz, TX
|Matt Carr’s Mother-In-Law
|Notre Dame deLourdes School
|HUGS to ALL ♥
|Kristin Vesely, MD
Your stockings are sooo beautiful!!!♥♥♥
A special THANK YOU to all our amazing sewing volunteers. YES - Please be sure to sew stockings for us in 2024. Be sure to check your sewing patterns to make sure that the finished stockings measure 15" by 9" wide. PLEASE send them to us as early as you can, after October 7th, 2024.
We would like to receive all stockings by Oct. 22th 2024.
Please mail ALL packages to: Stockings For Soldiers, 1911 Foulk Road, Wilmington, DE 19810
We will be sending support to our troops as long as they are deployed in Service to America. And we hope you will remember, for some of these troops, our personalized stocking was the only gift they received for Christmas.
This special photo was received a few years ago. The "wandering camels" make us smile.
Please remember to keep our troops & their families in your thoughts & prayers
With much appreciation and gratitude and hope to see you all next October 2024.
Project Founder & Coordinator
STOCKINGS FOR SOLDIERS - Delaware, Inc.
501.c.3 Tax ID # 27-0604668
1911 Foulk Road
Wilmington, DE 19810