by Lisa Tome
A whole bunch of Cecil County filled Christmas stockings are on their way to deployed military overseas.
For the fifth year, Crouch Funeral Home, in partnership with the community, gathered Christmas Stockings for Soldiers.
Crouch Funeral Home staffer Patty Demond worked to coordinate the event. She said that more than 800 stockings were distributed. As of last week, about 120 of the stockings were returned filled with goodies. She expected many more to fill the parlor of the funeral home before they were mailed earlier in the week.
Demond explained that the funeral home supplies the stockings and pays the shipping. The rest of the work and the shopping is done by volunteers.
"Some people take one or two (stockings). Others ask for cases of 24," said Demond.
Local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) posts in Elkton and North East pitch in as do area schools.
Students at Immaculate Conception School took stockings and filled them and then contributed leftover items so more stockings could be filled. "It's just amazing," said Demond. "It amazes me that people bring in extra."
"We have churches, schools, and the military organizations. Anyone can participate, They can take as many as they want. Everyone likes this project. The community steps up, they really do," she said.
Items in the stockings include hard candy, gum, mints, toiletries, games, books, batteries, drink mixes, sunglasses, socks, CDs/DVDs and more. Donors are also invited to place their email address in the stockings and may receive a reply.
Those who have received the stockings have in turn, expressed their gratitude. The funeral home has received thank you notes and emails from grateful deployed military. A recent gift was an American flag flown over a military installation which was sent to the funeral home.
As of last week, it was still being determined to whom this load of stockings will be sent. All is known is that it is a deployed military unit with ties to Cecil County.