A local nonprofit is collecting donations that will help to fill about 9,000 stockings with treats for soldiers serving overseas during the holiday season.
Summer Tissue, a Penn Hills resident and founder of Military Connections, has sent stockings to soldiers for 11 years. The organization is collecting $10 donations that will help cover the cost of the postage and stockings filled with snacks, magazines and other items.
“It is extremely difficult to be overseas during the holidays,” Tissue said.
“The troops miss their families, friends, and traditions. The stockings bring Christmas to the warfront.”
Tissue began sending packages to her brother when he was serving overseas, and at his request also began sending packages to her brother’s friends, some of whom had no families.
She officially founded her nonprofit, Military Connections, in 2007. The organization donates care packages, equipment and various supplies to soldiers and Marines each year.
According to Tissue, 90 percent of the soldiers who receive the stockings at the holidays are those with no families, or family members they’re not in touch with.
“Military Connections focuses on shipping care packages to the forgotten,” she said.
Nancy Stevens, a member of Trinity Tower United Methodist Church in Penn Hills, said members of her church began to volunteer with Military Connections several years ago because the project struck a chord with some members of the congregation.
“We had some connections in the congregation to young men and women serving overseas in the military,” Stevens said.
Stevens said members of the church contribute large boxes of requested supplies each year.
Those interested in donating can mail a donation to 312 Auburn St., Pittsburgh, PA 15235 or make the donation online at www.militaryconnections.org.
Those looking to get more involved can pick up stockings and stuff them personally. All donations are tax deductible. Details: 412-496-8941.
Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7845 or [email protected].