By Ukee Washington
WILMINGTON, Del., (CBS) — Tens of thousands of troops are spending the holidays far from home. But some local volunteers want them to know they’re not forgotten.
This Christmas on military bases around Afghanistan, soldiers are openings colorful stockings full of gifts, sent with love and appreciation from Delaware. We got a chance to see how it all comes together.
Inside a North Wilmington shopping center, hundreds of elves pack with military precision.
“So many people want to come out and do something to help the troops,” said Judy Travis, who started Stockings for Soldiers ten years ago.
Hundreds of volunteers sew thousands of stockings with soldiers’ names. The stockings are filled with treats and food and a card thanking each solider for their service. One by one, the packages are prepped for delivery and organized for mailing.
There are even stockings filled with treats for the military’s working dogs.
“So we have a stocking for them and a stocking for their handler and we’re thrilled to do that,” Travis said.
And soldiers send their gratitude.
“Some of them actually make you want to cry,” said Lyn Gill, one of the organizers for Stockings for Soldiers. “They’ll say I wasn’t going to have a Christmas this year.”
Scott Braynen brought his son to volunteer. It’s the first year they’re doing this.
“As I go through and I look at the names, I feel a close connection to people that I’ve never even met,” Braynen said.
Judy Travis estimates this year they sent 12,000 stockings to Afghanistan.
“People say, ‘How many do you want to do next year?'” she said, “and I say I’d like to do zero. I’d like all our troops to come home.”
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