This year at Spirit Of Sharing (SOS) we assisted over 50 active duty military members and their families in Southern California. SOS volunteers shopped, wrapped, and collected over 2000 plush Toys from Pet Smart (at participating stores) and lots of other toys from participating Toy Drives around southern California including LA and San Diego County. Our amazing volunteers dedicated weekends away from their own families, extra hours in the wee hours of the evening, and even some very early morning shifts to meet the needs of our deserving active duty military families. We would do it all over again to see the huge and happy smiles on 130 children and their 92 doting parents. For our families, we also provided enough commissary cards for a Thanksgiving & Christmas meal, as well as enough groceries for the month of December. We went all out this year hoping to spoil each and every one of our military families who have been through so much and continue to sacrifice their lives for our country.
SOS assisted only those families based in Southern California, but our families were from all over the country. We helped families from Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and native Californians, as well as second generation Marines. Our military families come from all branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, both active duty and active reserve. Spirit Of Sharing is located near Camp Pendleton, but we also assisted families as far South as Chula Vista and March Air Force Base in Riverside. In the past we have also assisted military families located as far north as Lemoore and Edwards Air Force Base.
We are so proud of our volunteers and our amazing military families!
SOS hopes to grow and assist even more families throughout the year, as well as, provide annual holiday assistance to active duty military families who are in the most need during Thanksgiving and Christmas. We cannot thank everyone enough from our community donors, toy drive coordinators, gift-wrapping elves and Santa’s tireless shoppers. We want to pay a special Thanks to our members of the community who, as groups, or individuals adopted one or more military families through SOS. This helped us take a record 50 active duty families which is up from the 38 families we assisted last year. This year several of our military families had service members who were deployed or preparing to deploy abroad. That is a normal burden for any military family to endure but can be extraordinary during the holiday season and no one feels it more than the children who have such trouble understanding why their parent is not with them during this special time. We were happy to help the spouses, here at home holding down the fort, to ease the financial burden of the holidays and provide some much needed joy and magic of the holiday season to those well-deserving kids who were missing their loved one(s).
SOS works towards growing and expanding our reach in the community so that we can continue to help those military families who face a financial burden during the holiday, or who may face a financial need, or an unexpected hardship at some point throughout the year. SOS aims to assist our local Southern California based active duty military families and will strive to make the 2014 season even better than 2013.