Look at the picture above. Look at the faces of the soldiers as they are picking out a stocking that we sent for their party. That is why we do this each year. That is why we will continue to do this. These men and women are away from their families during the holidays and the least we can do is bring a little bit of cheer in the form of a stocking. These stockings aren't full of everything they will need, they are full of love and support, and of course prayers for their safety. The real gift is the stocking because it was made with them in mind.
The past few years we have struggled to get all of the stockings, supplies and postage that we needed to fill the requests from these troops and from their families. We were to the point of putting units on a wait list until we received everything we needed. Of course I was praying we would, and we did. We sent out close to 3000 last year so we figured we might get requests for about 3500.
That didn't happen. Requests started coming in early this year. They were coming in from wives, daughter, aunts, sisters and friends. The requests were coming directly from the troops themselves, asking if we could possibly put them on the list because the morale was so bad. You all know what I said. I said yes and the number of stockings needed started climbing up to 2000 by the middle of summer. I prayed for a miracle, and several miracle happened.
The next miracle, and this was a big miracle, came through Debbie Colgrove's column at About.com on Sewing. At the end of August I started getting emails from people who wanted to sew stockings for OHS, a lot of them. I was puzzled as to where this was coming from. Finally one lady told me she read about OHS in Debbie's column. A check of the hits for our website showed it went from 23 on August 26th to 179 afterwards. We truly can't thank Debbie enough for telling people about us. The rush was then on.
In additon to the stockings, we had groups send cases of product for the stockings, and we were blessed with donations for postage.
Stockings were everywhere, some which had previously been stuffed earlier. Some that needed to be stuffed.