Honeoye— For the fourth Christmas, soldiers deployed overseas will be able to experience “a little touch of home”, thanks to some local community members.
The mothers, wives, and loved ones of those in the armed forces joined together at the American Legion Honeoye-Hemlock post 1278, Saturday, in an event named Baking for Soldiers Overseas.
“This is a family program,” said Allie Adams who helped coordinate the event. “This is a way for everyone to reach out when they don’t know what they should do. It bring communities together. Everywhere you look is family.”
Assembling more than 60 care packages for deployed soldiers, the group has made it their duty to make those overseas feel what they call “a little touch of home” during the holiday season. The care packages contain a variety of items, including books, magazines and other essentials, but the focus of the box is the fresh baked holiday cookies which the group tirelessly spent the day preparing.
“We’ve gotten pictures of how fast boxes go, they don’t normally last more than 30 minutes,” said Robyn Stoffel. “And they share all their boxes- I haven’t heard one story where they don’t share a box.”
But perhaps the most meaningful part of the packages are the handmade Christmas cards created by local children. The cards will go up on their walls and stay up there until they leave, says Stoffel. This year, children made more than 400 cards to be added to the packages.
“They’re very good at sending cards back to the kids,” said Adams. “It’s special to the kids, but it’s also special to the soldiers.”
The project has gone on for four Christmases and three Easters, Adams went on to say, and have sent anywhere from 55 to 105 boxes at a time. The boxes go all over the world, from Africa, to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Syria, but also will stay in the states going to soldiers who simply are not home for Christmas.
“If only we could be a fly on the wall and see the smiles on their faces,” said Adams. “That little touch of home goes a long way.”
The group urged others to remember those who are away and fighting for their country.
“Don’t forget, the war is not over,” Adams said. “It’s going to be going on for a very long time. Say thank you and don’t forget about the veterans that are already home.”
You can visit Baking for Soldiers Overseas on their Facebook page, here.