Monday, August 24, 2009


The following is some correspondence to Diane (our Parent Network Coordinator) and I from a woman who was an incredible driving force behind a successful effort to meet our goal to get packages to the 2/2 Marines while they were in Iraq last year.

I wanted to post her perspective to give you all an idea of what can come with a bit of enthusiasm for our project. Last year, this amazing woman secured the donations mentioned in the summary below during our second collection when the 2/2 was in Iraq. She took on sock collection with a passion and what a result! Her full summary included a long list of individuals who donated, but the paragraph below says a lot about what she was able to accomplish by combining those gifts bit by bit. Following that is a recent message she sent Diane regarding her progress on this years Santa's Elves project. (Her messages are printed with permission.)

Please know that whether you secure a few letters from kids, get donations from a some friends and family, donate some postage, purchase a few items or go all out and make this your mission... whatever you do will be extremely valuable toward meeting the goal. We need EVERYONE! The donations provided through Joan were the result of many individuals giving what they could, and it really added up. However, it was she who got the word out and made the project known whenever and wherever she could.

Joan's summary from last year's second Love and Support Package during the 2/2's 2008 Iraq deployment:

"We collected about 1600 pairs of socks many of which went to Diane for the packages, some went to Operation Quiet comfort and I still have almost 600 pairs to send to Marines and more to the organization for the wounded. Some money was used to pay for socks and the rest ($450) was sent to Diane for items in the packages.
It was a great pleasure on our part to contribute to this project. It was a good feeling to do a small part to support our Marines. I just never imagined the response from those on our end would be so wonderful. Working with Diane turned out to be a great deal of fun. We found a lot of humor in it all.
Glad to help,

Here is a letter she sent to Diane this month, August 2009, in regard to the Santa's Elves project currently underway:

"Hi Diane,

We have been spreading the word in any way we can. I even work the question “do you knit or know anyone who knits?” into conversation with people I only know casually. We have found some knitters, I have supplied them with wool and they are working on it. However, I don’t have any numbers from anyone. There are some being made, but I have no idea how many we can get.

I have found church groups to be good contacts. Believe it or not, from picking people’s brains and boldly asking everyone I encounter if they knit, I was informed that a Library in a town at the lower end of our county has a knitting club! Who would have guessed to check a Library. I will be contacting them soon.

I start back to school next week and that is my direct lifeline to a broader world. I hope to find more knitters then.

John’s work put out the info on collecting things (I narrowed the requests to helmet liners, razors, Wisps and the baby wipes to simplify the process). They have committed to helping, but haven’t given us anything yet. I stayed away from the socks this time. I figured I would give others the joy of sock collecting! That turned out to be an easy task, something not that difficult to get donated or purchase with monetary donations.

So far, I have a box of 55 razors and a total of 16 units of the Colgate Wisps……it is a start. I didn’t pass any amounts on, since I was waiting until I had enough to make it worthwhile to send a package to Roxanne.

I think that one of the problems might be that people think Christmas is so far away and that there is lots of time. Last year we accomplished so much in such a short time, but it was so much easier to purchase items and get donations. Unfortunately we can’t buy a skill like knitting. Such talents are dying art.

I keep thinking we can do this! We just have to keep seeking out knitters. They are out there, we just need to keep trying to find them.

Our Marines and Sailors are working so hard to prepare for deployment. While deployed they will be sacrificing a great deal in order to fulfill their mission. Thinking of that makes me want to do whatever we can to pull off this package mission. You and those that are behind the package project are so driven and enthusiast. We can hope more family members in the parent network develop similar enthusiasm... They need to be crazy like us J.

All we can do is continue to spread the word AS LOUD AND FAR AS WE CAN! I am here for you……..whatever I can do.

I promise to share any numbers on things as soon as I have them. Even small amounts will get us closer to our goal bit by bit. Think positive!

Take care,


Just goes to show how much one person can do when they have a heart for our guys.

Thank you, Joan. You are an inspiration!

1 comment:

  1. Joan is a wonderful lady with a wonderful Husband. Together their enthusiasm is contagious.

    They simply get the word out and receive outpouring support. They are an inspiration.