Help Volunteers Send Christmas Gifts To Oklahoma Troops

Saturday, November 12th 2011, 3:31 pm
By: News 9

Jamie Oberg, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City area volunteers hope to make Christmas merrier for thousands of overseas troops, and they could use some help.

Soldiers said it's the little things from home that will mean so much when they have something to open in Iraq or Afghanistan this Christmas. But right now, not all of our Oklahoma soldiers will get to open a care package this holiday.

Volunteers worked their way through the assembly line and don't have enough to send all of the troops on their list.

The little volunteer troopers from Community Action Ministries helping the Hugs Project Saturday hope to get more donations before the shipping date of December 7.

"We tell them, we give you stuff in a box and in return we get freedom, we're getting the best end of that deal," said Karen Stark, Hugs Project Coordinator.

Postage to ship 5,000 care packages is around $62,000; Stark said the post office will not give them a discount. Right now there's a big need for socks and beef jerky.

"We send a pair of socks with every box, well that's the goal," Stark said. "We're going to run out of socks before we even get very many boxes packed today."

Beef jerky is a big hit.

"Our guys call it quiet food, they can unwrap it and put it in their pocket and eat it without being detected by the enemy because it's nice and quiet," Stark said.

The boxes are filled with homemade goodies along with necessities we have here all the time.

"Helping out doesn't have to cost anything," Stark said.

"Letters of love and support, it doesn't have to cost anything to help the Hugs Project," Stark said.

Stark said her husband was deployed and he liked getting fall leaves pressed into paperback books the best. Even though Veterans Day has come to a close, the Hugs Project is proving everyday is Veterans Day here.

The Hugs Project is a grassroots organization whose volunteers spent their Saturday at Crossroads Mall where they are trying to pack 5,000 Christmas boxes for Oklahoma soldiers. In addition to needing Christmas goodies for the troops, the group must pay between $12.95 and $40 for postage.

See how you can help.

You can donate items – they are specifically asking for socks and beef jerky – or make cash donations though PayPal.