INDIAN TRAIL – Heritage Funeral Homes purchased 400 Christmas stockings to be filled with items such as beef jerky, stress balls, key chains, candy canes, toys, note pads, toiletries and other goodies.
Union West Rotary Club filled over 150 stockings. Indian Trail United Methodist Church filled another 60. Residents and businesses filled the rest.
All of the stockings were overflowing. Some included a card to the Marine wishing them a Merry Christmas.
Mrs. Claus, who is close friends with Robin Barron of Heritage Funeral Homes, delivered over 400 stockings Dec. 7 to Camp Lejeune, where she and her assistant were greeted by the chaplains associated with the units.
One of the commanding officers said this stocking will most likely be the only gift a Marine would get. He was very appreciative of the community thinking of the Marines on base.
Most charitable efforts focus on military serving overseas, overlooking those on base in the states.
Sam Golobish, a veteran Marine and assistant to the project, placed a metal sign covering his business name on his utility trailer to transport the stockings to Jacksonville. Golobish and Barron wanted everyone to know what was being transported and how the general public could get involved.
One of the chaplains shared a story of several Marines arriving late at the site where Mrs. Claus was handing out the stockings. As she was being whisked away to another location, those marines followed the trailer, a half of a mile to the next destination, to get a picture with Mrs. Claus and receive their stocking.
Some of the Marines showed off their goodies and traded items with their comrades. Female marines were excited to see that stockings were designed specifically with them in mind.
Before the volunteers departed, there was discussion for next year’s project including the chow hall. Last year, 100 stockings were filled and one week prior to the event, the team was asked if they could do 100 more. It only took two days to get commitments that filled the requested stockings.
On the web: www.unionwestrotary.org