|Please notice the little Christmas tree in the corner of the room.|
Throughout the year, we work with those who are making stockings for us, collect items for the stockings, and quite frankly, ask for donations to pay for postage, and some corporate expenses.
The monetary donations are needed year long so we can cover the expenses for OHS, which are payments we need to make to the government, like the annual corporate registration with the State of Washington, and here's the best one, the whopping $800 filing fee with the IRS for the 501c3 non-profit status. There's an irony in this one, we need to raise donations to file for the federal non-profit, but generally we need to be a 501c3 before someone will make a donation to us. I personally have a hard time asking for money for anything, but fortunately, we have members of OHS who don't. Our little non-profit is basically run on a wing and a prayer, so I know the funds will come in so we can get the 501c3 before too long.
It dawned on me that many of you don't know what all we send to our soldiers. We send the stockings stuffed, cards in each box, and a letter telling them how much we appreciate and support them, and how the stockings are being sent as a small token to tell them so. A list of contributors is included and the story about OHS, and how we got started.
It is worth the work? You bet it is. Below are excerpts from some more thank yous we have received.
"I would like to take a little time to thank all of you from Operation Holiday Stocking for all you are doing for those of us deployed or serving abroad this holiday season. It is truly heartwarming for military personnel to know that people back home, … are thinking of them when they are gone. I’m sure most, if not all of you, know how hard it is to be separated from the ones you love for any given amount of time, … it’s not any fun and can be painful. The holiday seasons for many people … whether younger or older, their first deployment or tenth, it can be an especially lonely time for many. It is people like you and the organizations you volunteer to support or start yourself that help to bring a little bit of back home and some holiday spirit to all of us. I would like to thank you for this patriotic compassion, this gift from you cannot be measured and it is so greatly appreciated by myself and the soldiers in my Company. Thank You!!"
"Hello! I wanted to personally thank you for the beautiful stockings you sent my husband and 90 of his fellow soldiers in Iraq. For some of our brave men and women in uniform the Christmas Stockings you sent were their first "care package." It lit the eyes of every soldier, since they received them on 23 DEC! Your Christmas Stockings spread Christmas Cheer throughout the DFAC (Dining Facility) and MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) room! They were all so grateful our American citizens are thinking about them during this time. You touched 90 lives this Christmas, and I'm sure many more! Your organization is fantastic, and I applaud you! It thrills me they were able to have somewhat of a Christmas because of YOU!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I cannot thank you and your elves enough! What each of you do regarding this organization is truly amazing-and it's keeping a smile on our troops' face!"
Our mission continues throughout the whole year. To all of you who participate in this project, a personal THANK YOU from me. I have come to make many friends through this project in the last 6 years and we all have the same goal. The goal is to make sure our troops know we care. Thanks for the stockings, the stuffers, your time, money and love.
Well, off to go knit another stocking. Take care my dear friends, and may 2011 bring us peace somewhere so some of our troops can come home.