Need the perfect gift for a family member or friend? Sponsor a Christmas box for the troops for $40 per box. Christmas is right around the corner and F.A.I.T.H. Military Support Group (Families and Individuals Thanking Heroes) is asking for the community’s help in sending 350 care packages for miliary heroes who are away from their family during the holidays. The list of heroes includes all branches of the military and all have a personal tie to the community – either by being from here or having a loved one who lives here.
Those wishing to sponsor a box can include a signed note to the service member or honor a friend or family member as a gift. A letter will be sent to the person you choose to honor to inform them of your generous contribution as well as including a note to the service member informing them of the person you honored. If donations are received after Dec. 2, notification will be sent to the “honor” or “in memory” recipient before Christmas 2023 and a note in the January care package for a military hero.
F.A.I.T.H. Military Support Group has been sending care packages every month since July 2006. F.A.I.T.H. was formed to provide encouragement and support to military personnel while they are away from home and to the families of those serving. They meet at 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month (except December when it’s the first Saturday at 8:30 a.m.) at Livingston Physical Therapy at 305 W. Mill St. in Livingston.
Since 2006, over 24,000 care packages have been shipped to the troops. F.A.I.T.H. is a charitable non-profit 501(c)3 organization and its tax identification number is EIN #38-3746761. Volunteers are committed and proud individuals in the community, service organizations, local church groups, local businesses, various school groups, the local garden club, the LHS NNDC and anyone who shows up to help pack. Members of F.A.I.T.H. are proud to say that since 2006 they have only missed two months of sending packages and that was when Hurricane Ike came through town and when they had to regroup to find supplies due to COVID.
Postage for care packages continues to increase and currently the cost is $18.45 for large size overseas boxes and $15 for medium size domestic boxes. The group is currently sending an average of over 125 boxes per month and the average monthly postage is approximately $3,000. Although the community contributes items for the packages, additional items are still needed to supplement the donations. Inflation is hitting F.A.I.T.H. hard and the cost to fill the boxes is increasing. The heroes look forward to receiving the boxes and they are a welcome reminder that they are remembered and appreciated. One hundred percent of all cash donations are used for supplies for the care packages, postage and labels. All administrative tasks and time are donated.
F.A.I.T.H. will send 350 care packages for Christmas and will be packing the boxes beginning at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 2. Each hero will receive at least two boxes, a food box and a Christmas goody box.
The care packages are filled with toiletries, Hormel Compleats® meals, canned fruit, Skippy peanut butter, Hormel chili, soup, granola bars, snack cakes, homemade fudge made by First Methodist Church of Livingston, mini pecan pies, stockings stuffed with various items, drink mixes, hot chocolate, candy canes, candy, gum, cookies, peanuts and trail mix. All of these items are packed with love and support and then are prayed over before sending them to the heroes.
Below are some of the thank you letters received from previous recipients of the boxes:
“F.A.I.T.H. Volunteers, Good morning! I am CDR Mark, the command chaplain at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. I want to thank you for your incredibly generous and copious packages! I work closely with the USO and Red Cross to help get these wonderful items into the hands of our service members. It means a lot to them, and to me, and I want to thank you for your support and encouragement. You are a patriot for not just saying you support the military, but doing something that directly impacts the military to lift their morale and let them know that many Americans are behind them. We have many members here from the great state of Texas, and I was raised in Houston. I miss Whataburger! :) Blessings on your week and thank you so much for your care for these sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines! Very Respectfully, CDR Mark, Command Chaplain Camp Lemonnier”
Hi! This is a military family who has been receiving your amazing boxes over the past couple years. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate everyone there! These boxes have been so helpful and useful! We love reading the letters inside! You’ll be happy to hear that we will be moving back to the states soon! So please send the boxes to other military families who deserve the amazing support you provide! Thank you again so much for each and every box and everything inside. We appreciate all your hard work and support! Y’all are doing great work! Sincerely, Grace and Nathaniel :)
Howdy, this is Airman Ferguson. I just want to give a huge thanks to everyone back at home for all of the support and food that has been delivered to me. I put all the food to good use and I enjoy sharing it with friends when we are hanging out together. I can’t thank y’all enough for everything. Like I mentioned before, I enjoy everything y’all send me especially those water flavorings. But huge thank you to everyone who puts these boxes together and all y’all’s hard work. It’s very much appreciated by myself and others. So thank y’all again and have a blessed day!