Holidays are a time for family and celebration, and San Diego State’s Mortar Board has made it their goal to make sure our troops overseas have a piece of home this holiday season.
Stocking Stuffers for Troops is a collection drive aimed at giving troops and active-duty service members a reminder of home during the time of year when people need comfort the most.
Started in 2003 by the USS Midway, a decommissioned World War II aircraft carrier, to support and give back to the men and women overseas, Stocking Stuffers for Troops came to SDSU’s campus two years ago. Since then, it has become an annual drive for SDSU’s senior honor society, Mortar Board.
This is an opportunity for the campus community to send a message, improve their morale and support those who are volunteering to protect his or her nation.
Drive hits home
With a strong military presence on San Diego State’s campus, the drive hits home for many people. According to Joan Putnam, director of the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center, more than 1,000 student veterans and active-duty service members attend SDSU.
Robert O’Berg, an SDSU senior, active-duty U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant and leader in the Stocking Stuffers for Troops effort, agrees.
“I can’t emphasize enough how important this project is,” O’Berg said. “Speaking from personal experiences, in 2005 and 2006 I was deployed to Iraq and had members of my unit successfully commit suicide. Statistically during the holidays the instances and occurrences of attempts usually increase.”
“This is an opportunity for the campus community to send a message, improve their morale and support those who are volunteering to protect his or her nation,” O’Berg added.
How to get involved
Stocking Stuffers for Troops is collecting small monetary items, such as:
- Travel-size hygiene products
- iTunes gift cards
- Crossword puzzles
- Instant coffee mix
All of the products collected are to help troops decompress in a time and area of high tension, anxiety and stress.
The goal this year is to send 100 stockings overseas.
There are three collection points available:
- Honors College - Administration 201
- Veterans Center - Student Services West 1575
- Student Veterans House - 55th St. & Hardy Ave.
Showing you care
Besides collecting donations, all are encouraged to write letters to the troops.
“Taking the time out of your schedule, your day, to write something as simple as a hand-written letter lets an individual know that you care... that sends a real message,” O’Berg said.
“This drive really isn’t about the monetary value of the Items; it’s about sending clear messages that we support our troops regardless of the reasons why they’re there. In the end, we just need to get behind them.”
The Stocking Stuffers for Troops drive concludes on Friday, Oct. 21.