PFC Bradley Kritzer, while serving in Iraq noticed a lot of his fellow soldiers never received any mail or packages and shared his observation with his parents, Roger and Sharon Kritzer of Irvona. In no time, Mr. & Mrs. Kritzer started sending packages to their son’s outfit.
On May 5, 2004 their beloved son was killed in Baghdad, Iraq. The Kritzer family decided to continue sending packages to soldiers overseas, in memory of their son Brad and Project Santa was born.
Project Santa sends food, comfort items, and the most coveted of all, cards and letters to soldiers overseas. This year, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, St. Victoria’s Court#646 and the Knights of Columbus, Our Lady of the Valley Council#10376, both of Houtzdale, will be assisting the Kritzer family with Project Santa. Project Santa’s Workshop is now located at Christ the King Church, 123 Good St., Houtzdale in the rectory basement. Access to the Workshop is on Grace Street. The Workshop will be open until Nov. 20 each Monday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and each Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Project Santa will accept any food or comfort items, except for aerosol cans, mouthwash and aftershave. Just take a look in your closets or cupboards…if you have a box of cards you never have used, books, magazines and word puzzle books, extra canned goods, Christmas lights, ornaments, ect., share them with our troops who are fighting for us to maintain our freedom and fighting for those who are too weary to fight for themselves.
The following is a partial list of businesses who will be accepting donations. Their donation boxes list items which are being collected: Clearfield – J.C. Penny Co., Inc., The Medicine Shoppe and Clearfield Hospital; Coalport – Leyos Inc., IGA; Houtzdale – Sharon Pusey State Farm Insurance Office, Your Neighborhood Market; Philipsburg – Hembold & Stewart Insurance, Philipsburg True Value and Peebles Dept. Store.
Monetary donations, are used for shipping expenses and specific items on soldier’s wish lists, may be sent to Project Santa, C/o Debbie Kruise, P.O. Box 587, Madera, PA 16661. Checks may be made payable to “Project Santa”.
As items or monetary gifts are received, care packages are sent to soldiers. We have sent 12 boxes already due to the generosity of the Clearfield Hospice Chili Bowl attendees and the employees of Your Neighborhood Market, Houtzdale.
If you know of any soldier, overseas who would like a care package, please provide their name, address, length of deployment and their wish list by calling Debbie Kruise at 378-5514. Let us show our troops they are not forgotten!
Items to send, but not limited to:
instant coffee, tea bags, Ragu Express, Kraft Easy Mac, inflatable pillows/seat cushions, non-dairy coffee creamer, smoked oysters/sardines, stationery / all occasion cards, powdered Gatorade, canned fruit & other canned items, magazines, paperback books, pens, powdered hot chocolate, fruit/Jello cups & puddings, word puzzle books, playing cards, Kool-Aid (presweetened), olives, pickles, peppers(bubble wrap) dice, dominoes, board games, Slim Jims & beef jerky, individually wrapped licorice, disposable cameras, mini fans, Crackers & Easy Cheese, Potato Stix (small cans), electronic hand held games
Chex Mix, cookies (packaged), CARDS & LETTERS from home, canned air for electronics, single serve chips/pretzels/candy, AT&T phone cards, zip-lock bags, portable CD players, CD/DVDs, Little Debbie snack cakes, batteries-all sizes, sewing kits, Single bed sheets (any colors), Rice Krispee Treats, jelly beans, shoe laces (gym shoes & boots), bath towels (any color)/disposable razors, dry cereal, Microwave popcorn, boot socks, brown T-shirts, underwear, Icy Hot patches, foot massager, granola bars, Power Bars, koozies to keep water/cans cool,Air activated heat wraps for muscle, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, nuts, Clorox wipes, personal wipes, microwavable plates and bowls, tuna or chicken (canned or pouch), toilet paper, soap, body wash, paper plates, spices, salt, pepper, squeeze butter, small bottles shampoo/conditioner, gift baskets-packaged as a gift, oatmeal in packets, toothpaste & toothbrushes, lollipops, hard candy, jawbreakers, bubble gum, Altoids, nuts, Chapstick, lotion, foot powder, fast food condiments, instant soup, Ramen noodles, nail clippers, small flash lights, small packs of Tylenol/Motrin