Residents of all ages gathered around dozens of tables, decorating cards and boxes to make a friendly reminder this holiday season that no matter where the military sends you, your hometown is always thinking of you.
Prayer Angels for the Military is a nonprofit that works to make cards, write letters and prepare care packages for the military, so no one is forgotten at mail call.
Suzon Gerstel and a handful of women established the group officially in 2004, but had been working with the same motto since 2003 during the Iraq deployments.
“When they get something from us here, it just means the world to them,” said Gerstel.
The Bethlehem community collected hygiene and snack items. Girl Scout Troop 2912 helped pack the items into plastic bags, to ensure the contents wouldn’t spill.
Some of the items included Advil, wipes, beef jerky and hot cocoa packets.
“There’s a lot of people here that are here to help and want to serve and it’s just really nice to see everybody come together,” said Robyn Sheets, a Bethlehem Preschool employee. “To serve as one and get something done.”
The contents of the care packages also included letters written and colored by the event’s attendees. They call them, “letters of encouragement.”
“Just a reminder that people are thinking about them,” said Sheets.
For their final touch, attendees were also given plenty of crafts supplies to decorate the insides of the boxes. The deployed are able to open the box up to something colorful and handmade, instead of brown cardboard.
“We just want them to know we care,” said Bethlehem pastor Joe Beran.
To register a troop for Prayer Angels for the Military’s mailing list, visit bit.ly/3ivbwFy.