Stocking Drive underway to benefit area soldiers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Stocking Drive underway to benefit area soldiers serving overseas

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Dustin and Becky McDowell will spend their one year anniversary apart. Dustin and Becky McDowell will spend their one year anniversary apart.
Organizers are putting together an "All We Want For Christmas 2012 Soldier Stocking Drive. Organizers are putting together an "All We Want For Christmas 2012 Soldier Stocking Drive.
LaCroix Pet Hospital and several other local businesses are hosting a soldier stocking drive. LaCroix Pet Hospital and several other local businesses are hosting a soldier stocking drive.

It's hard to think about Christmas at the beginning of November, but that's what one group hopes you'll focus on over the next few weeks.

It's all about our troops, and making sure they have a taste of home on the holidays.

Organizers are putting together an "All We Want For Christmas 2012 Soldier Stocking Drive.

It's for 93 Missouri National Guardsmen currently serving in Afghanistan.

Newlyweds Dustin and Becky McDowell will spend their one year anniversary apart.

"We just sent gifts, we'll make the best of it," said Becky McDowell. 

They got married on Veterans Day of 2011.

"Our first year of marriage has pretty much been planning for deployment," said McDowell. 

Dustin McDowell, of Cape Girardeau, is one of ten soldiers with the 1140th currently deployed in Afghanistan with 83 members of the 1138th Engineer Company. 

"They are doing route clearance, clearing the roads of bombs and IED's," said McDowell. "It's a scary job, but someone's gotta do it. They seem to be doing a good job."

As she worries about her combat engineer, volunteers want to do what they can to help.

"What they (the soldiers) do is priceless," said Lisa Foster-Practice Manager at LaCroix Pet Hospital. "It's the least we can do to show them that it doesn't matter if you support war or not, we support the troops."

LaCroix Pet Hospital and several other local businesses are hosting a soldier stocking drive.

It's all about spreading holiday joy overseas, and taking a little stress off of the families left behind.

"We want to show our support, and let them know as well that we care about them and what they're going through," said Kimberly Necas-Organizer. "We want to make their family members more comfortable and happy during the holiday."

They're asking for donations to fill 100 stockings.

"To have stuff come over from complete strangers to say thank you, we appreciate what you do, we appreciate your sacrifice," said Becky McDowell. "It's heartwarming."

The unit won't return until May of 2013. Their loved ones hope you'll think of them beyond the holidays.

"They gave up their time to do this deployment, said McDowell. "So we need to remember them on a daily basis."

Donations can be dropped off at the following Cape Girardeau County locations: LaCroix Pet Hospital, Mississippi Mutts, Little Caesar's Pizza (Cape Girardeau & Jackson locations), The Elks Lodge, and Pagoda Gardens.

The drive runs through November 24, and cash/check donations will also be accepted in person, or by mail.

You can make checks payable to LaCroix Pet Hospital.

LaCroix Pet Hospital

Attn: Lisa Foster

2984 County Road 620

Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Ideas for stocking stuffers include, powder drink mixes, hard candy, ramen noodles, toiletries like travel-size toothpaste and deodorant.

Also things like ITunes gift cards, playing cards, magazines and pre-paid phone cards would be appreciated.

A complete list can be found at the participating businesses.

To stay updated on the project, find the group "All We Want for Christmas" on facebook.

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