NOV 1, 2009 - If you’ve been to Palomar Centre lately, you may have seen a Christmas tree shining brightly in one of the store windows. The tree has been up since October 1, and it’s drawing a lot of attention. Volunteers at Military Missions, Inc. have been working for the past month preparing to send thousands of care packages to deployed troops.
OPERATION S.E.N.D. CHRISTMAS is just one of the projects that this organization undertakes each year, and it is definitely one of the biggest! Military Missions, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting our military and their families, as well as our veterans. The organization sends care packages out on a year round basis, but efforts for Christmas increase tenfold.
“On Christmas Day, our troops will not be gathered around the tree at home with family and friends. Instead, they will be standing watch over each of us, protecting us from harm and defending our liberties,“ states Beth Pennington, Founder of Military Missions, Inc. “Each one is a parent, a sibling, a child, a spouse, a friend, and an American. We need to send them encouragement, as well as our thanks.”
Several events around the community have been planned. Military Missions has already held an event with Keeneland and another with the families of 63rd Aviation in Frankfort.
A community wide care package assembly will be held in Lexington on Monday, November 9, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, at the National Guard Armory on Airport Road. In addition to assembling packages, those attending the event will have an opportunity to give a shout out to the troops. Individual messages will be recorded, as well as a group greeting scheduled to be recorded at 7:00 PM. To find out more information about attending, and to register for the event, please go to www.militarymissionsonline.com/operationsendchristmas.htm.
Military Missions is also working with the Kentucky Historical Society to collect items during the upcoming opening of the new exhibit “Kentucky Military Treasures”. This event, scheduled for November 12-14, is a part of Frankfort’s Candlelight Tour. Area businesses have already placed collection boxes throughout Frankfort.
Collection boxes are also being placed in various locations around Lexington. Locations are listed on the organization’s website. If your business, church, school, or organization would be interested in setting up a collection box, please contact Military Missions right away at 859-221-9477.
There are a number of ways that people can get involved in OPERATION S.E.N.D. CHRISTMAS. The organization has set a goal to send a minimum of 2000 packages this December. Military Missions is accepting care package items to fill these boxes. A care package suggestion list can be downloaded from the website.
“Personal cards and letters are the best part of the care package,” says Pennington. “We like to include at least 15-20 cards and letters in each package. Receiving a box filled with personal greetings from people across the USA of all ages can really lift a soldier’s spirits and show them that their efforts are appreciated. We hope that everyone will take some time to make a few cards for our packages.” Military Missions has put out a nationwide request for at least 30,000 cards.
The cost to mail these packages is estimated to be $25,000. Military Missions is accepting tax deductible monetary donations to cover shipping costs. Donations can be made directly on the organization’s website.
The deadline for donations is November 30, but everyone is encouraged to get involved early. Donations are being accepted now. Care packages will be mailed the first week in December in order to reach our troops by Christmas Day.
Schools, churches, organizations, businesses, and individuals from all over the USA participate in OPERATION S.E.ND. CHRISTMAS. To find out more about how you can get involved, visit the organization’s website at www.militarymissionsonline.com. You may contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org, 859-221-9477, or drop by the office located at 3735 Palomar Centre Drive, Suite 20, in the Palomar Shopping Centre in Lexington.
If you know of someone who is deployed, they can be added to the care package mailing list at www.militarymissionsonline.com/addahero.htm.
The organization is holding an Open House on Wednesday, November 18, from Noon to 6:00 PM in an effort to introduce the organization’s efforts to the community. Stop by and find out how you can support and encourage those that stand in the gap to provide freedom for all of us.