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!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thank You Notes From Our Troops of The 340th PSYOP, Ft. Dix,NJ

On Tuesday November 22nd Operation Santa Bag took a road trip to Ft. Dix, NJ to deliver 88 Santa Bags to a group of Soldiers that are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan on December 20th.  My sister and I hopped in the car from her house in Elmira, NY and started our journey.  It was a long day, however it was so worth every mile.  We got to meet the 1st Sgt, and the CO of this fine group.  As we set up the Christmas Tree, and placed the bags around it, we chatted with those who had greeted us at the visitors center.  They presented me with a certificate of appreciation and wanted us to know how much they appreciated our efforts to give this group a small token of our appreciation for doing what they do everyday, keeping us here at home safe.  Yesterday Monday December 5th I came home to a stack of mail from this group!  Needless to say as I read every note I was crying with a joy that I can't explain other than it was something that I had not expected.  Thank You to everyone who participated in this years project, and again we couldn't do this without all your help!  Yes! January will start a new year, and we plan to start planning for next year's project even earlier.  We reached out to 186 troops this year, so will next year be 200-250 that will depend on how much help we can get throughout this upcoming year!  Want to help?  contact my sister Cathy or myself! Or if you would like to help expand "Operation Santa Bag to your area I will help you get started!  It's rewarding, and our troops need to hear from us!

Thank You

Pat & Cathy

Friday, November 25, 2011

Operation Santa Bag Goes to Ft. Dix, NJ

Operation Santa  Bag delivered 88 Santa Bags to Ft. Dix, NJ on Tuesday November 22, 2011.  Needless to say our visit was great.  We had the opportunity to meet the 1st Sgt. and the Commander of the 340th. Operation Santa Bag was really excited about delivering their care package in person, we set up the
Christmas Tree and placed the Santa Bags under it for our troops.  To everyone who contributed to this years care packages I can't say Thank You enough.  We mailed out 13 other packages to troops currently serving in Afghasistan.  We could not have done this without your help!  Thank You! and Thank You!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Operation Santa Bag Preparing to fill Santa Bags Wednesday November 16th,2011

Hey everyone!

Just wanting to update you on our progress for this years care packages. Right now we are only lacking a few items such as playing cards (I know that we have some coming but not sure how many, popcorn, and funds for shipping so if anyone would like to help us out in that department that would be totally awesome.  We have 186 troops this year that we are reaching out too!  WOW that's more than doubled from last year.  We are so excited!

To Our Sponsors! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Ms. Amy Tipton, Wilmington, NC
Robin Arnaud, Wilmington, NC
Claudia M, Charlotte, NC
Pam Barker, FL
Dr. & Mrs. Michael Levine, Wilmington, NC
The Harper Family, Wilmington, NC
Debbie Sheehan & Family, Wilmington,NC
Sharon Simmons & Family, Wilmington,NC
Mr. Roger Foley, Wilmington, NC
Ms. Bunny Wherry, Wilmington,NC
Mission Baptist Church, Burgaw, NC
Ms. Joan Sheridan & Family, Wilmington,NC
DJ & Hunter Black, Wilmington, NC
Jennifer & Greg Becker, Jacksonville, NC
Carolyn Becker, Jacksonville, NC
Girl Scout Troop, Hampstead, NC
Garcia Family, Hampstead, NC
Lowes Home Improvement, Wilmington, NC

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Update to our Operation Santa Bag Package Preparedness

Hey There Everyone!

We are celebrating our 5th annual "Operation Santa Bag" Troop project this year!  This Project could not go on without your support and help.  To everyone that has supported us these past 5 years, Thank You!  This year will be our biggest group!  We have 150 troops to reach out to this year.

So here's an update on what we have to date for our care packages and what we still need.  Our supporters are so great!

We Have:
Hand Warmers:  We have 150, if your interested in helping you may go to Dick's supporting goods and they have offered a 15% discount for "team USA Afghanistan" be sure to let them know that these will be going to our troops in Afghanistan.  I understand that the manager was very excited to help us with these, if you have any questions please call me.  We have 119 knitted toboggans, chap sticks for everyone. We also have tooth brushes, and dental floss and tooth paste. donated by a local dentist. We have 186 copies of a CD from a local singer and song writer Amy Tipton!  Thank You Amy! for your continued support.  We have hand made crafts made by children, hand made Christmas Cards being made by the "Operation Santa Bag Team this year! we have all the hot chocolate that we need YAH!, peanuts, propell singles, and candy.  We now have the Christmas Tree's, additional hand warmers.

Things We Still Would Like:

Microwaveable popcorn boxes of 36 count (Sam's Club)
Single packs of Hand sanitizers (box of 24 count can be found at Dollar Tree/Big Lots or Walmart)
Packs of playing cards, needing 150 suggestion: Dollar Tree sells these 2 packs for $1.00
Games that 2-4 people can play such as : Battleship, checkers, tumbling towers, or other board games or card games.
Hand written notes, just to say Thank You for your service to give them encouragement.
Funds for shipping would be very helpful!  Last year we spent $150.00 for shipping.

If you are wanting to help please let us know we have just a couple more days to prepare these packages.  We have 3 groups in which these packages are going, so please let me know if your wanting to help us!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

1st Annual Operation Santa Bag Weekend At The Beach!

Well we have been busy and getting busier,  Operation Santa Bag is going to the beach! Some would say that we live at the beach, this is true, however this will be a working weekend at the beach. One of my Generous Cricut students has offered up her beach home for this weekend! WOW how do you say no to that!  We have a group of ladies who are bringing their Cricut Machines, Sewing Machines and we are gonna have a party!  We will be busy making Christmas Cards and Santa Bags for our 150 Troops that we will be adopting this year, and we will have a great time!  Our focus will be our troops, these cards will be designed and created to bring Chirstmas Cheer to our troops.  We are so excited about this weekend.  And we will be talking about what we will do next year!  I love this time of year, my sister Cathy will be coming to visit and she will be teaching a class on how to make a "stage pop-up Christmas card" and everyone will be making one.....yes these will be going on the road to Afghanistan.  My wonderful sister-in-law Jennifer has given us a head start on the Santa Bags, she has already sewn 99 of these bags! WOW!  So, if you want to help please let us know!  Check out our wish list, our contact information is also available......Thank You for your continued support for our troops.

Pat & Cathy

Monday, September 5, 2011

Alpha Company 1/9 Receives care packages from Operation Santa Bag

From:  GySgt Mansfield, D.J.
Alpha Company 1/9
Company Operations Chief

I have to say that, that absolutely rocked! I have received four packages
so far. The last one will show up somewhere for sure. Just may take a
little time. I instantly separated them and got them to the guys. We
will definitely be able to use all the nails and screws. The brushes,
bowls, saran wrap, cook ware and foil is just awesome. They will love
getting that stuff and I loved getting it for my own camp! So happy and
thank you so much. Please thank anyone that helped out!

It is all stuff we can use and we will definitely use it!

Thank you so much!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Operation Santa Bag Supports ALPHA COMPANY 1/9 UNIT 74095

Hey everyone, it's been awhile since we have updated our blog, so here is an idea as to what we have been up to.  We just finished a project for USMC Alpha Company 1/9 Unit 74095 from Camp Lejeune,NC  We were able to get these Marines things such as nails, screws, wire cutters, pliers, brushes, plastic bowls, a couple pots to cook in, homemade note cards, boxed note cards, foil wrap, saran wrap not to mention some fun stuff like football, and some other goodies.

If you would like to help please contact us, all help will be appreciated.

A Huge Thank You too our great sponsors:

Stevens Hardware, Wilmington, NC
Dr. Dan Maggio, Wilmington, NC
Robin Arnaud, Wilmington, NC
Pam Barker, Wilmington, NC
Elise Howard, Wilmington, NC
DJ & Hunter Black, Wilmington, NC
Cathy Thomas, Elmira, NY

To Alpha Company 1/9 Unit 74095 Thank You for your service to our country and know that you and your family's are in our thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Time to start preparing our packages

It's time to begin our preparation of our care packages, that's right! "Packages"! We will have 2 groups to reach out to this year.  I recently learned that my son will once again be deployed by October 2011. Our goal this year will be to touch 150 or more troops this year! Your help is needed.  So help Operation Santa Bags reach it's goal.  If you or anyone you know has someone serving overseas please reach out to them.  The purpose of this project is to rise the awareness of how many troops are away from their family's during the holidays.  The most that it will cost is time!  all you need is a small group of caring, loving souls that appreciate our military!  Our blog has a wish list of things that are needed and appreciated by our troops.  We will be celebrating our 5th year of this project and Cathy and I have a great time doing this...............Won't you help! adopt a soldier, or a group!  If you are unclear as to how to start contact me I will share with you how you can start your own project in your area!  There is no greater joy than sending a package of love to our soldiers keeping us safe! and they appreciate all that we do.

Again, Thank you for your support!
Pat & Cathy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cell Phones For Soldiers

I am currently getting ready to send a shippment of phones to "Cell Phones For Soldiers" so if anyone has a cell phone that you are no longer using any more please let me know, you can contact me through this blog or face book.   Again, Thank you for your continued support......


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our needs for this years Operation Santa Bag Project

Every year we try to create new ideas for the Santa Bags, so if you have any suggestions please feel free to chime in, we are always looking for new idea's and or projects.  The items we typically need are:

  1.  Hot Chocolate (lots of Hot Chocolate) nothing like warming up a soul on a cold day or night.
  2.  Gator Ade (They now sell these in a box of single packs) these are great for our troops to add to their water.
  3.  Hard Candies (No Chocolate) mini candy canes, Jolly Ranchers, Skittles, Popcorn
  4.  Peanuts (Sold in boxes of single packs)
  5.  Trial size tooth paste
  6.  Tooth brushes
  7.  Trial size hand sanitizer, shampoo's, lotion and soaps
  8.  Baby wipes
  9.  Hand warmers
10.  Playing cards
11.  knitted caps to fit under their helmets
12.  In the past couple of years we have made homemade craft items, mini photo albums, and key chains something thats not too big to carry from place to place. Idea's are always welcomed.
13.  Homemade Christmas Cards There just something about someone taking the time to make a card to Wish someone a "Merry Christmas", again all ideas, and help are welcomed.
14.  Games that can be played by groups of 2-4.
15.  Football's and Frisbee's