Many soldiers serving our country in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq will have something to smile about this Christmas as a result of the generosity of Blue Ridge Communications and Pencor offices who embraced the Keystone Soldiers Stockings for Soldiers project.
Keystone Soldiers, a non-profit organization, founded by Kyle Lord (a military mother of a soldier (who served 5th tours of duty) began the project in 2002. This year over 6,000 stockings and 20,000 holiday cards will be sent from our communities to the dedicated soldiers who will not be able to enjoy the comforts of home during this holiday season.
Kyle Lord stated, "This is such an amazing display of the wonderful things that can happen when a community comes together to show their support for our friends and neighbors away from home. These gifts will surely convey the spirit of Christmas and the warmest wishes of the holiday season to every military member who receives them. All the volunteers at Keystone Soldiers, me included, sincerely thank Pencor Service, Inc., (Blue Ridge Communications) and everyone who helped with this project. Merry Christmas!"
Lord also went on to state, "I hope that this collection will spur people to continue in the spirit of giving…not only at Christmas, but throughout the year, in support of our soldiers. It is amazing that in this day and age, there are so many troops who do not receive any personal mail! This initiative seeks to solve that problem and we will NEVER turn away a soldier, sailor, marine or airman (service member) who needs our help!"
"Our collection weighed in at over one ton of donations including food, hygiene and other requested items, over 1,700 cards and more than $1,600 for shipping. Thank you to everyone who embraced this project and to the churches, individuals (including: Diane Crick, Krystal Yocum, Elaine Smith, David Peck and Shirley Welch), businesses (including Bonnie Gerhard of Destination Jewelry. Cloister Restaurant, Evergreen Diner, Creekside Dental Group, Daniel W. Springer DMD, Dennis J. Cerasoli DMD, Parkhill Jewelry, Auto Zone, Weis Markets and Advanced Auto Parts), and community groups (Horizons-Cocalico Senior Center and AMVETS Post 136-Cindy Gensemer), who took a personal interest in making the holidays brighter for this dedicated group of men and women", stated Cindy Mellinger, Marketing/Community Relations Coordinator for Blue Ridge Communications. "Thanks to the overwhelming support from the Blue Ridge Communications' viewing area, between 800-900 stockings will be stuffed and shipped, so our service men and women will receive a loving reminder from home over the Christmas season."
These gifts will serve as powerful messages of joy and hope to our men and women serving around the world, as they are so appreciative of the outpouring of kindness.
As the New Year approaches, Keystone Soldiers will begin a major undertaking as early as January/February of 2012. They will be requesting phone cards to be sent to the troops for Mother's and Father's Day, so they may call home on these special days. Phone cards being accepted included AT&T Worldwide and AAFES.COM (Military Phone Cards), which may be purchased online and sent directly to Keystone Soldiers at P.O. Box 152, Fleetwood, PA 19522 for disbursement.