On Christmas Day, volunteers at American Legion Post 176 in Springfield, Virginia, put together about 100 care packages for deployed members of the armed forces and veterans.
The event, called Christmas Day Care Packing for our Deployed, is now in its 12th year.
“We still have men and women that are deployed in harm’s way and we need to show them that we care,” said Mary Keeser, founder of America’s Adopt a Soldier, the nonprofit hosting this event.
The care packages — full of candy, cookies, toiletries and thank you cards — will be sent to service members and veterans around the world in the coming days.
“We put in things that they need that they want and it’ll make their day a little brighter,” said Jim Hickey, a veteran and longtime volunteer at the event.
Keeser said the event is all about giving back and saying thank you to those that sacrifice so much for the country.
“To reach out and to thank our veterans … and to our deployed service members for continuing to serve and to serve us overseas,” she said.
Keeser told WTOP the event started 12 years ago when soldiers and veterans who did not have a place to go on Christmas approached their group and proposed an annual event where they could give back.
Another volunteer, Bill Burrell said the event also taught his son Adrian that Christmas is about giving.
“We thought that it would be nice to show our son that Christmas is not just about receiving things but it’s about actually giving,” said Burrell.