BATAVIA, Ohio — Military personnel on active duty may be looking at a holiday season spent far away from loved ones this year. But thanks to one local organization, those serving will get a taste of home wherever they are.
“It just kind of seems like a no-brainer to help them out,” said Realtor Keith Taylor. “They make the ultimate sacrifice. It’s the least we can do.”
Taylor and his real estate partner at Comey and Shepherd Realtors, Rich Davey, don’t have any military ties, but they are volunteering with the Yellow Ribbon Support Center in Batavia to stuff stockings for its annual “Stockings for Soldiers” drive.
“They would ask Realtors to get donations and bring them in, stuff stockings, and then those stockings get sent to the support center,” Davey said. “They got boxed up and sent overseas.”
The stockings are filled with all kinds of non-perishable items like electrolyte powder for drinks, chewing gum, wipes, sanitary clothes, snacks and even crossword puzzles.
“Rich always jokes around how all the managers at the dollar stores hate us because we just go through and completely annihilate their shelves,” Taylor said.
The Yellow Ribbon Support Center prepares about 30,000 to 40,000 of the stockings to go to troops during the holiday season and has been organizing the drive for several years.
The center is still looking for people who can give money to the cause, and is hoping to get all donations in by Nov. 13 so the stockings can make it overseas in time. It is also accepting Halloween candy to include in the stockings, as well as volunteers on Wednesday mornings to stuff stockings and pack boxes.
If you have a loved one overseas, you can contact the Yellow Ribbon Center with a military address and it will send a stocking to your family member. To donate or volunteer, reach out to the Yellow Ribbon Support Center or the Taylor/Davey Group.