The "Christmas in July" project is still going strong in 2011. During the first quarter we reached another milestone. On March 18, 2011 the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts sent their 5,000th care package to a soldier serving with an engineering company in Iraq.
Each year during the month of March, the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts honor our women in uniform and our women veterans. During the month of March this year, we sent special care packages to our women soldiers serving in harm's way. We know that whoever receives the care packages, they are always shared. When you’re far away from home and in a challenging environment, it’s always a happy day when you receive something from home.
One of women soldiers writes in her email:
To those concerned from the Brookings Harbor Redshirts:
First and foremost, a deep, heartfelt thank you from all of us here at the 1249th En Bn from Salem, Oregon. How thoughtful, kind, sincere, and unique of you all to care so much about a bunch of "joes"... :) We have been receiving all kinds of wonderful and perfect packages over the last few weeks. We are all gaining weight from the goodies! A slice of home, which we are eternally grateful for. I have been spreading the word about your cook book, and asking for entries. While the Soldiers are compiling their own, I have included in this email my personal favorite. It is simple and delicious. Shepherd's Pie. I have also included a few pictures of us ladies, I don't have any of the males here, but I will work on that to send you some.
We cannot thank you enough for your continued support to us, and for all of the other Soldiers you are helping. We love Oregon and miss it dearly. Thanks for sending little packages of home.
With gratitude, respect, and honor,
SPC Amy Feltzin
During the past three months the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts sent over 200 more care packages to our soldiers serving in harm's way. We thank you for all of our troops, for all your support and we look forward to continuing our mission "Until they all come home."
This is a personal Thank You to those of you who chose to help fund the project, "Christmas in July." We projected a budget of $2.200 to purchase and mail a minimum of 50 care packages to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Your generosity has given our project $3,755 which we consider a blessing. We actually have spent $3,210 sending care packages to our troops in the "Christmas in July" program and we will designate the remaing donations to help us to continue funding this ongoing project, while continuing to accept further donations for 2011. Our wish is to continue to be pro-active in supporting our troops while wishing them a speedy return home again. Here is a thank you email from one of the beneficiaries of "Christmas in July."
Brookings-Harbor Red Shirts,
Thank you so much for your support with each package, your thoughts and prayers. They are appreciated beyond anything we can express in this letter. It’s comforting to know that Americans like you still care enough to take time out of your busy schedule to let us know how much you care.
I can assure you that the young Marines who have enjoyed your packages would make you proud if you could see them in action. The Marines, whom you have helped to improve their life out here, are part of the southernmost unit in Afghanistan. They are, without a doubt, the brightest, best trained, and most dedicated warriors in the history of the world. They truly should make Americans proud, regardless of their political views, and reflect on what you stand for back home. Specifically, you’ve chosen to help out a group of very unique Marines. These young men have been hand-selected to live with, train, and operate the fledgling Afghanistan National Police. As a training team for the Afghan Police they live an even more Spartan life. During the course of their deployment here they have been responsible for saving dozens of lives of local Afghans, making the market-place in their area secure.
Matthew Draheim, Marine stationed in Afghanistan
Your generosity been a morale boost not only to these Marines, but to all of the soldiers and wounded warriors this project has benefited. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, you have made a huge difference in the lives of many troops.
As the year 2010 comes to a close we want to let all our supporters know that "Christmas in July" is an ongoing success story for the Brookings-Harbor Reds Shirts supporting our troops. It can't be Christmas all year round, but this special project sure makes the soldiers feel like it's Christmas each summer.
A letter from one of our Christmas in July recipients reads as follows:
Brookings Harbor Redshirts,
Got your huge care package full of goodies & necessities.
Enjoyed the letter and photos as well.
Wanted to send you a BIG thank you. We now have a Chapel/Community Center where the Soldiers can stop by and relax and pick up stuff people send over.
– we can actually use the freezer pops. We have small frig/freezers that we put them in.
Also, for my new friends, attached is my monthly newsletter that I send out. I’ll include you in future ones as well.
STEVE SHERIDAN MAJ, MS
S4, Task Force 31
OEF - Afghanistan
The Red Shirts have had "Christmas in July" as an ongoing program for over 4 years now and we will continue to do whatever we can to raise the morale of our troops throughout the year. Thanks to all of you for caring.
Brookings-Harbor Red Shirts
Here is a current update from the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts on our Christmas in July program. We were able to go beyond our target and send over 60 care packages to our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the soldiers sent back a reply:
“Thank you so much for your support with each package, your thoughts and prayers. They are appreciated beyond anything we can express in this letter. It’s comforting to know that Americans like you still care enough to take time out of your busy schedule to let us know how much you care.” (From Matthew Draheim)
We have been able to bring a lot of joy to our troops during this hot summer, thanks to your generosity. Even though we have not met our financial goal so far, we were able to still send more care packages than originally planned.
As far as the Christmas in July Project goes, we consider it a huge success and since we do this annually, we will keep this as an ongoing project and try to get it fully funded. We want to extend our appreciation to all of you who have donated to make this a success and to Global Giving for giving us the platform for this mission.
Frank Muller, President
Here is an update from the Brookings-Harbor Redshirts on our Christmas in July program. We are on target so far and have 56 care packages almost ready to be sent to Marines in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan and many other individual Soldiers, Sailors and Marines deployed both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of these military are sons and daughters of Blue Star Moms.
We have been able to include many DVD’s, games, toys, high protein snacks, trail mixes, individual drink mixes for bottled water, socks, along with hygiene items such as razor blades, shaving gel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, foot powder, fly strips, sunscreen lotion, soaps, shampoos, sanitizers and many other items that are useful and not always easy to get where they are deployed.
The great thing is that all of our troops share their packages with their platoons and team members; that way one package sent to a soldier may reach 10 or more different people with all the variety included in them, whereas 50 packages will have an impact on 500 troops.
Here is part of an email response we received on July 2, 2010:
We would like you all to know what an honor it is for us, when good Americans show their support for the US military. No matter if it is in the form of letters, care packages, holding up signs of support at the main entrance gate of a base, the applause we receive at the airport when returning home, or a simple handshake and a "thank you". It is always extremely humbling, and we never feel quite deserving...but it is always appreciated.
We ask that the Red-Shirt organization continue its support of our military brothers and sisters in Iraq/Afghanistan. It is a great moral boost to all, and a wonderful reminder of why we are here.
God bless you.
DAVID AUSTIN, MSgt, USAF
Civil Engineer PRT Paktya / FOB Gardez
We are very appreciative of the donations made through Global Giving that will help us in our Christmas in July project. The Brookings-Harbor Redshirts are on target to spend $ 2,380 minimum for this project. Our target date for shipping our packages is July 16th. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have helped so far. Thank you for supporting our troops.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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