Project Santa 365 Wraps up Christmas Drive, Begins 2013 with Valentines
HOUTZDALE – Project Santa 365, a community service project for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA), St. Victoria’s Court #646, Houtzdale, has wrapped up its 2012 Christmas Drive with a thank you card and picture from Captain Allison (Danko) McFeatters and the 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers. The card reads:
“Dear Project Santa 365,
We can’t thank you enough for all the stockings and wonderful gifts. Your generosity is admirable, very much appreciated and made our holiday season festive even far from home.
We shared with several soldiers in 3rd Infantry Division. Your goodwill was felt by many! We wish you all a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!
CPT Allison (Danko) McFeatters & 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers”
Throughout 2012 Project Santa 365 sent to U.S. troops in Afghanistan a total of 133 boxes of comfort items, cards, letters and homemade cookies. Project Santa 365 could not be successful without the generosity of fellow citizens, schools, businesses and organizations. Project Santa 365 organizers would like to thank all of those who have made 2012 a success.
CDA members said the Project Santa 365 project has been “a very humbling and rewarding community service project.” They said, “Goodness and generosity abounds in our area. Working together with people of all ages and backgrounds to bring smiles to those overseas and locally makes everything so worthwhile.”
Donated items, which cannot be sent overseas, for instance aerosol cans and specialty items, such as Christmas stockings, are given to Tomorrow’s Hope located in Coalport. Tomorrow’s Hope is a facility that offers housing and services to veterans.
Project Santa 365 was originally started as “Project Santa” by Roger and Sharon Kritzer in memory of their son PFC Bradley G. Kritzer, who was killed in 2004 while serving his country in Iraq. Items were collected and sent overseas to encourage the troops at Christmas.
As the torch was passed to the CDA, members decided to change the name to Project Santa 365, so the troops would be remembered throughout the year. Over the last couple of years, the number of troops overseas has been lowered and the requests have somewhat changed. Supportive cards, baby wipes, boot socks, individual coffee and beverage mixes and puzzle books are always welcomed. However, items like Doritos, any USA made individual snacks and fish crackers have moved high on the list.
The Project Santa 365 Drive for 2013 begins now for Valentine’s Day and Easter cards and goodies. Any school, organization or individuals who would like to send troops items may contact Debora A. Kruise, Project Santa 365 Coordinator, at 814-378-5514 or 814-553-3156. You can also mail your cards and letters to Christ The King Church, C/O Project Santa 365, 123 Good St., Houtzdale, PA 16651.
The Valentine/Easter mailing will be sent Tuesday, Feb. 19. The mailing is going out after Valentine’s Day to make it easier for school children and their parents who may want to send a card. As they fill out Valentine cards for classmates, they can add one more for “Someone Special,” a soldier overseas who makes it easier for all to enjoy the freedoms here at home.