Stockings for Soldiers deadline will be Nov. 20

Published 4:40 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When Stephanie Gibson’s son Chad was stationed in Iraq four years ago, she wanted to send him a stocking at Christmastime. After sharing her idea with several others, the idea grew into more than 400 stockings being shipped from people in Chilton County.

“The response was unbelievable,” Gibson said. “It was something that a lot of people participated in because we have so many young people from our county that have served or are serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. We still have a lot of people in Afghanistan even though a lot of people think the war is over. It is not over.”

The event transformed into an annual project organized by the First United Methodist Church in Clanton.

Gibson said there are several different ways for people to become involved including putting together a stocking and dropping it off at the Methodist church, purchasing items for the stockings and bringing them to the church, or monetary donations.

“Just mailing the stockings overseas costs about $1,300 so we have some people who donate money to be able to ship the stockings to the soldiers,” Gibson said.

Things to put inside the stocking can include: chewing gum, trail mix, Christmas candy, a deck of cards, DVD movies that are appropriate, socks, caps, and beef jerky.

Nothing liquid, flammable or glass can be shipped inside the stockings.

Gibson said each stocking receives a Bible verse and a Christmas card tucked inside and she encourages anyone putting together a stocking to place a Christmas card letting the solider know who made the stocking.

“We want to let the soldiers who are out fighting that we not only love them but that God loves them as well, “Gibson said.

Those interested in bringing their stuffed stocking to the Methodist church can bring them to the Methodist church by Nov. 20 or help in putting the stockings together on Nov. 27 at 5 p.m.

“We will ship the stockings on Nov. 29, which makes me excited just thinking about it,” Gibson said. “The stockings are just a little piece from home, and it is hard for those guys and gals to be away from their families, especially during the holidays. They are just a little bit from home from a community with a lot of love.”

For more information, call Gibson at (205) 755-8270.