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Help soldiers this Christmas
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The Soldiers’ Angels of Georgia 2007 Christmas for the Troops project is under way, as we begin making plans to prepare stockings full of goodies to send to our deployed soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the third year, we would like to invite the Georgia community to join us in collecting the funds and items needed to bring the joys of the holiday season to our brave military troops overseas.

This year’s effort is larger than ever, with 15,000-20,000 Georgia-based troops deployed in war zones. With so many to serve, we will need the help of as many Georgia businesses, schools, churchs, civic organizations and patriotic citizens as possible to make this Christmas wish a reality for them.

What are we sending the soldiers? Our "stockings" will be gift bags full of both useful and comforting items for a soldier in the desert environment of the warzone. Each will include: a pair of socks, a stainless-steel travel mug full of candy, hot chocolate, lip balm, a pen, a new toothrbruth, a pocket-pack of tissues, a pocket-sized entertainment item, an individually-wrapped snack food and signed holiday cards from the public. Other items may be added, pending the volume of donations.

How can the public help?

1. Financial donations can be made payable to "Soldiers’ Angels" and sent to: Soldiers’ Angels of GA, Attn: Betsy Rhodes, 22 Mapmaker Lane, Savannah, GA, 31410. Please write "2007 Christmas Project:" in the memo. Donation receipts for tax purposes are available upon request. Just $5 puts a stocking in one soldier’s hand ... $10 for two ... $25 for five soldiers and so on.

2. Holiday greeting cards are a very important part of this gift, as it is the public’s direct means of expressing gratitude and holiday wishes directly to the soldiers. Cards from children are particularly dear to them, so schools are encouraged to take part. Churches and other groups, as well as private citizens, are also welcome to contribute as many greetings as they’d like. Please keep all messages supportive and non-political.

3. Businesses are invited to donate imprinted promotional items in any amount, such as pens, stress balls, small notepads, small LED flashlights, beachballs and other useful or fun items to be included in the stockings. This gives the business the opportunity to advertise their company’s support to the troops directly while providing them with a small gift. Dentists’ offices and dental supply companies can donate bulk amounts of sample toothbrushes, like those distributed to their patients.

4. Large groups and businesses may also sponsor in-house drives among their employees and customers to collect stocking items or funds. Please contact me, Betsy Rhodes, at (912) 507-8640 for more information about which items are most needed and how to get started.

Where can you take item donations?

Both drop-offs and mailed donations will be accepted at the four main collection points

- In Pembroke at Pembroke United Methodist Church, 102 N. College Street, 653-2220.

- In Hinesville at NeSmith Chevrolet, 1559 E. Oglethorpe Hwy., 876-2121

- In Savannah at Dan Vaden Chevrolet, 9393 Abercorn St., 925-9393

- In Douglasville at the National Guard Amory, 6784 W. Church St., (678) 569-8171.

Betsy Rhodes

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