Even though they may be far away from home, Western New Yorkers are trying to spread some holiday cheer for our troops overseas.
For the last ten years, volunteers have held "Holiday for Soldiers" where they collect everyday items and toiletries, as well as monetary donations to send stockings overseas.
Senator Mark Grisanti says "You're talking playing cards, razors, socks, deodorant, toothpaste; things we kind of take for granted every day that our troops overseas would love to have."
This year's gifts will be shipped in honor of Getzville native, William Wilson III who was killed in Afghanistan last Spring.
Anna Schwass the organizer of the event says, "The reason we do it is because it brings the morale up for our troops. Just to get something from home is really important. The response is wonderful. Every year it's wonderful. Everybody likes to give back, they understand. I think there's a lot of military people around here and they like to support us."
Over the years, Anna has received several letters thanking her to show their appreciation for everything she has done.
The group has been collecting the items through the week and it's going to continue throughout the weekend. All the items will be stuffed next week before being shipped overseas.
"We have to make sure we remember our troops during the holiday, remember that they're over there fighting for our freedom in all branches men and women. We need to honor them every day and we need to honor them by supporting them and making sure that we can bring a little bit of home over to where they are," Grisanti said.
Donations are also accepted either to purchase items or help to ship the stockings. With the nice weather, the group is extending their collections through Sunday.
To more information on where to donate go to: http://www.senatormarkgrisanti.com/?cat=13.
Donations can be dropped off at 9570 Transit Road, East Amherst (in front of Hive and Tim Hortons) from 7 a.m. to 2p.m. or they can be mailed to the following address: PO Box 302 Amherst, NY 14228.