22 December, 2007

Operation Santa

This year I had the pleasure and honor of being a small cog in the massive Operation Santa machine. Watching the expressions of people dying to ask why you're clearing the shelf of sports magazines at Barnes & Noble, and why you have seventeen boxes of Little Debbies in your cart at Walmart? Too much fun!

The original plan was for me to pack 85 stockings for the local military hospital, but lines got crossed and the hospital got double-covered. So... 85 empty handmade stockings and over $800 worth of stocking stuffers sat unloved in my living room.

Where to send 85 stockings?

The finger of fate finally landed on a special event for a local Marines, arranged by a group of Marine Corps Moms who ensure that those without Christmas leave and family nearby get a taste of the holiday. Each year, up 120 Marines enjoy a catered meal and a small gift on Christmas Eve. And this year they will also get an Operation Santa stocking!

But, there was a hitch. The Moms had managed to raise only enough money to host 22 Marines this time. However... Soldiers' Angels to the rescue! All Patti had to hear was "Would you like to help some Marines stuck on base have Christmas dinner?" End result: 77 hard-working Marines will have Christmas Eve Dinner, a giftcard, and a well-stuffed Christmas stocking courtesy of Marine Corps Family Fund, Soldiers' Angels, and some wonderful Marine Corps Moms.

Pretty cool, hunh?

And here's the finished product--85 stockings:

Don't you wish you could get your hands on one of these?

The only thing better than spending money that isn't yours? Spending it on newly-returned Marines at Christmas.