CHICO, Calif. - The Adopt a Soldier for Christmas Program marks its 15th year this year, with the goal of shipping as many as 800 gift boxes to soldiers stationed overseas for the holidays.
Founder Becky Eitel launched the program when her sons joined the military. They are both still active members, serving in Special Forces. Every year Eitel identifies local soldiers and sends gifts to them, and the members of their unit, their "battle buddies".
Donations of small items like hard candy, wipes, small books, socks and letters and cards of thanks are being accepted through Nov. 16. Then they are packed up into small boxes and shipped off. The act is simple, but welcome by those who are often stationed in forward operating bases with limited supplies far from home.
The cost of shipping for each box is $13.95 so monetary donations are also welcome. They can be dropped off at The Postal Station on Mangrove Avenue in Chico.
You can find soldier "wish lists" on donation bins in 27 different locations.
In Chico: Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Alpha Strong Gym, Chico Community Church, Chico Sports Club, Chico State Student Vet Center, C&M Automotive, Danielsen's Foods, The Elk's Lodge, First Baptist church, Fix Auto Chico, Golden Valley Bank, The Grateful Bean, The Masonic Lodge, The Postal Station, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Rotary Club, Sierra View School, Sweet Chico Confections, Sycamore Glen Retirement Community, VFW Post, Wal-Mart, and Extreme Diesel.
In Biggs: Wheeler Ranch and Feed
In Gridley: The Makeup room
In Paradise: Heaven Scent Candles, The Mason's Lodge
A Drive up and Drop off will be held from 6 - 8:30 p.m. Nov. 12-16 at the North Valley Plaza Parking Lot in Chico, behind Wendy's.
For more information or to volunteer, call (530) 343-3260 or visit their Facebook page.