Operation Santa Bag

Welcome to our blog!

"Operation Santa Bag" is designed to spread cheer to our troops deployed overseas during the Holidays. My sister Cathy and I decided to start this project when my son was deployed to Iraq in 2007, we want our troops to know that they are not forgotten! We love our soldiers! Last year we celebrated our fourth year adopting a group, the past two years we have adopted a group from Camp Lejeune North Carolina....The care package this past year exceeded all other years! We had so many people wanting to donate not only with items to send but helped with shipping expenses, phone cards and so much more! The response from the group we adopted was awesome! They truly appreciated what we offered.

Our goal for this blog is to encouage people to continue showing support for our troops no matter where they are, and should your neighbor be part of a military family let them know how much you appreciate them for their committent to keeping us safe and for giving us the freedom we take for granted everyday!

It's getting close to the time when we start preparing for this years project, who will we adopt? We don't know yet, but this does not matter we will begin making homemade Christmas cards in June, Cathy & I will be talking nearly everyday until we meet in NY over Thanksgiving. This has become our tradition! we work deligently for about 5 months to prepare our packages! I will drive to NY and Operation Santa Bag will take over her house for almost a week! We have so much fun doing this! We celebrate Thanksgiving every year by being so Thankful for our wonderful HEROE'S

If you would like to help this year please contact us we Welcome the help!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

WOW! October was a Wonderful Month for Operation Santa Bag!

Operation Santa Bag Update! Wow what a month we had in October.  We have prepared for adopting 100 troops serving overseas, and to date we have grown to approximately 250, needless to say we are very excited.  I can't even begin to Thank Everyone for their love for our troops and this project! This select group left the Wilmington area on Oct. 4, 2014.

To date we have $700.00 for shipping. We will need more, last year we shipped 135 Santa Bags, Christmas Trees, Toiletries, games, footballs and more for $400.00.  Things that we are now needing is 150 kitted hats to go under their helmets, 250  single packs of tissues, we still need more hot chocolate lot=n=lots of hot chocolate. Footballs 2-4, Frisbees 5-10 of them, Board games that 2-4 can play,  hard candies, flavorings for water 500 single packs, foot warmers (340) writing pens (250) and at least 1 case of baby wipes. Music CD's would be great or DVD's. Puzzle books are nice too.

Above all else! I want to say Thank You to the Wilmington Star News and Ci Cantwell for the interview and the wonderful article he wrote on September 27th, and for the Wilmington Encore Magazine for the great push for our project and our troops!  This year will be the best year yet!  Girl Scout Troop 220 from Burgaw well all I can say is your AWESOME! We have had more sponsors this year than any other year!  So I can say Thank you to all my supporters from Hampstead and Wilmington, NC!  We currently have contact with Tom Russell from "Step up For Soldiers" and hoping to team up with him to help get our care packages to our group! 

There's still time to help! If your wanting to help you can contact me via e-mail at starbethlehem@live.com  or face book me!

God Bless and Thank You so much for your continued support!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

September 13,2014 Operation Santa Bag Card Making Team

Operation Santa Bag 2014 is in full swing! Preparing for our care packages!

Hello There!

It's been a few months since we last updated our blog and it's that time of the year again!  This year we have already been blessed with have help from our local Girl Scout Troop 220 from Pender County here in NC and help from the NC Sorosis Foundation.  Today we achieved something awesome, with the help of our new friends we made 128 Homemade Christmas Cards!  What an awesome job ladies.  We could not have done this without everyone's help.  Pictures will be posted.

We have not selected our groups yet so if anyone knows someone that is currently serving overseas please let me know.  We are looking to adopt up to 100 Troops whether it's 1 group, 2 or even 3.  Our needs list is still available for anyone to see.  Donations for shipping is also needed.  Last year we spent $400.00 alone in shipping.

Thanks Again Everyone for your continued support.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Operation Santa Bag's have been shipped!

Dear Operation Santa Bag Supporter's and Follower's.

Monday November 25th, Operation Santa Bag shipped 14 boxes of goodies to include
Christmas Tree's for each of the groups.  I have to say a hardy "Thank You" to all that made this possible.  The weight this year exceeded last year, even with having less in numbers.  The total weight combined was over 256lbs.  That's a whole lot of Christmas love to ship!  I would love to be a little fly on the wall when these troops start receiving the care packages.  A Hardy! Hardy ! Thank You to my husband Mike, he did all the heavy lifting getting it from our house to the post office.  I'm not sure if the post office will ever be the same after tying up the post office line for well over an hour. But at the end of the day! It was so well worth it! 

Words cannot express the warmth in my heart with the support this project has received over the years. And to our troops we can never repay them for what they have given up!  Being away from family during the holiday's is tough, so my goal is to give them a little bag of cheer!

From Operation Santa Bag we wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving! and A very Blessed Christmas.  You  have truly shown what Thanksgiving & Christmas is all about! "Giving, Loving, and Caring all wrapped up in 14 boxes that is heading to Afghanistan and Kosovo!

Love to You All

Operation Santa Bag

Saturday, November 9, 2013

November 9, 2013

Well Operation Santa Bag followers, here's another update.  Team Operation Santa Bag meets again today to finish the Christmas Cards that we have left to do,  Every year "God" really Blesses this project.  Just when I think I'm not going to have all the help I need, "He" sends them my way. I don't even need to look, they find me. All I can say is "WOW!"

To update everyone on things that we are still needing $ for shipping, I am still waiting on a couple of donations to come in. Once I receive those funds I will have a better idea on how much more we will need.  I would love to get some notes from children or adults , these little things mean a whole lot to our troops just to let them know that the children even as young as they are understand their sacrifices and love them for it.

One of my very dedicated helpers said something yesterday that put things in perspective and here's my thought she said, "Isn't it great what we can check off another item off of our  "things needed/things to get list" instead of thinking about all  that we have left to do.  So just to give you an idea of what we have accomplished to date, I am checking these things off.  Ms. Bunny, I love you more than you know.

Things completed to date:
All Santa Bags are sewn  (85)                                      
Toiletries received/separated & bagged 
We will have (85) Home Made Christmas Cards  Completed today                                          
Powdered drink mix                                    Hard Candies w/ more to come
Hot Chocolate                                             Our State Magazine 
Slim Jims                                                    $ 100.00 for Shipping (so far)                              
Peanuts                                                        Party Mix (2) containers 1 for each group
Hat's Hand Knitted                                      (2) Prelite Christmas trees       
Hand Warmers w/ more to come                Hand made Christmas Ornaments
Playing Cards (coming)                             
Fruit roll up's
Tooth Paste, Tooth Brushes/Dental Floss

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Operation Santa Bags is in full swing!
 I went to "Any Soldier.com and selected a couple of groups this year.  Typically they only have a handful of troops to help out, but I'm sure there's more to that than we think. these individuals are base out of NC, so more than likely, Camp Lejune, New River Air Station, Cherry Point, Ft. Bragg; that tells me that these brave soldier's are from our community.   So I am reaching out to those individuals to see what we can do to send them a little package of LOVE.  We have a sweet individual that donated fabric for the Santa Bags, yes, we sew these our selves. Thank you Ms. Sharon! and one of our loyal supporters has hand knitted hats to go under their helmets (We thank you Ms. Cecelia).  We are very blessed to have this kind of support.  Our local dentist has donated toothpaste, tooth brushes, and dental floss.  Thank You to Dr.& Mrs Michael Levine.

We need your HELP!

Your asking how, this is what you or your group can do to help!

We need funds for shipping.  Last year we spent over $ 350.00 on shipping.  We reached out to 135 troops, That was awesome!  The joy of knowing they all appreciate all that we offered!

We need these thing for this years project!

We just received a special request for warm gloves, one of our contacts say they are really needing these because where they are is getting extremely cold.  If you can help with this they would really appreciate it more than you know. We are needing approximately 75 pairs, and if we can get 10-15 folks that will commit to purchasing these we would have enough for everyone.

Hot Chocolate (lots of it)
Individual packets of Gatorade (lots of it)
Hand Warmers enough for 2-3 sets in each Santa bag
Candies such as: skittles, jolly ranchers, tootsie rolls, fire balls, peanuts, starlight peppermints, beef jerky or slim jims are a big hit!. etc
Candy Canes
toiletries such as shampoo, lotion, sanitizers, body wash, conditioners. sun screen, chap sticks, baby wipes, individual packs of tissues
games, footballs, playing cards
letter from school children thanking them for their service.
Christmas Trees preferably 4ft or under, and I say trees because there will be more than 1 group to reach out too this year.
Sports magazines, health magazines or just some good reading material.