Members of our military will receive holiday stockings brimming with useful items, thanks to a partnership between the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and the America Red Cross.
Local businesses, organizations and individuals are donating everyday items that will be stuffed into stockings and delivered to our troops. The project is now in its third year.
Dental Excellence in North Naples recently contributed several boxes filled with personal-size containers of mouthwash and toothpaste for the stockings.
Dr. Cheryl Malick, owner of Dental Excellence, knows firsthand how much the stockings will be valued by those who receive them. Her brother-in-law Derek Wimmer is a member of the U.S. Army who is about to be deployed for his third tour of duty.
“These care packages and items, as trivial as they may seem to us, are greatly appreciated and really help keep morale up in otherwise horrible conditions,” she said.
The military ties don’t end there. Dental Excellence Office hygienist Eve Ottis is a Gulf War veteran whose son is currently serving in the Army.
CCSO is collecting stocking items through Nov. 5. Donations may be dropped off Mondays through Fridays during business hours at a collection box in the Human Resources Lobby of CCSO headquarters, 3319 U.S. 41 E., Building J., East Naples. The public is also invited to drop off personal notes for the soldiers.
Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation should contact Florida’s Gulf Region of the American Red Cross at 239.596.6868.
The most-needed items for soldiers include:
• Powdered drink mix (such as Crystal Light)
• Lip balm (SPF 15-30)
• Bug repellent wipes
• Sunglasses (UV-rated)
• Packs of chewing gum
• Small Nerf footballs or Hacky Sacks
• Small packets of baby wipes
• Various small toiletry items
• Playing cards or dice
• Small puzzle books
For more information on the stocking program, contact Christa Renaud, chairwoman of the CCSO Agency Family Activities Committee, at 239.252.9900.
ABOVE: Dr. Cheryl Malick, D.M.D., left, and hygienist Eve Ottis of Dental Excellence in North Naples recently donated mouthwash and toothpaste in support of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s Stockings for Soldiers supply drive. CCSO, in partnership with the America Red Cross, is collecting everyday items for servicemen and women through Nov. 5. Photo by Kristi Lester/CCSO