For the past five years, the Tricounty Blue Star Mothers and Families has sent packages to deployed service members so they know they are not forgotten. The Christmas stocking project has been successful in that over 7,000 stockings have been sent in the past 4 years.

 The items in the stockings are collected in the community from schools, businesses, clubs and groups and are stuffed and mailed by Blue Star Mothers. Monetary donations are appreciated to offset the huge mailing costs.

TCBSM&F is asking the community to chip in for our heroes overseas. Empty stockings for stuffing can be acquired from two local members or items can be collected and Blue Star members will do the stuffing. Either way, the gifts will be mailed by TCBSM&F and are well received by service members around the world who need and appreciate that touch of home at the holidays. Cards from children are always fun and uplifting. Adults can also add a note of encouragement.

"We have a short window for collection this year" said Army mom Ellen Lewiin. "We are asking folks to have items turned in by Dec. 5th." There are some things that should not be sent: "Please don't send batteries, homemade goodies, chocolate, lighters, pressurized cans, pork or porn" added Lewin. People are encouraged to use their imaginations  within reason and consider including a tree ornament or item available only from the lowcountry for that personal touch. "We have females and non-Christians deployed as well"  reminds Lewin.

Suggested items include things like powdered or individual drinks like hot chocolate, teas, coffee and cyrstal light.

Most snacks, dental kits, tylenol or cold/sinus packs, eye and nose drops, q-tips, hand warmers, candy, pocket games and toys or puzzles, disposable cameras and spf 15 lip balm. There is a printable list available upon request.Addresses for local deployed service members are requested along with a number of persons in the direct unit.

For empty stockings, the list of items, information or dropoff locations, please email signstation100@hotmail.com in Summerville call Kendra 875-1892 orrbradshaw42@yahoo.com in Goose Creek. Checks can be mailed to TCBSM&F at P.O. Box 40296, N. Chas., SC, 29423.