News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Monday, Nov. 11th, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- There's no place like home for the holidays, but some of our soldiers stationed here in Augusta may not have a chance to go home.
One local mom is working to bring holiday cheer to those left on Fort Gordon and her efforts are being noticed around the country.
It all started as a conversation with her son, a private in the Army stationed at Fort Gordon. He told her some of his friends couldn't go home for the holidays and so she wanted to bring home to them.
"I said well we'll just get together some stockings and we'll take them out there and they can come over here and eat for Thanksgiving and Christmas," said Stacie Littleton. "It really wasn't any question. If they were gonna be left alone you bring them here."
A simple idea to give her son's friends who can't go home a little piece of home for the holidays.
"[It's] for the ones who can't or who don't have a choice [to go home]. If their parents are in Maine or California or they can't afford the bus ticket or plane ticket, I don't think they should sit there in a 12 x 11 room," said Littleton.
Then she took to Facebook asking for help making stockings for those soldiers and the response she got left her speechless.
"What I kept up with in the first three days I had heard from over 200 people. The furthest one away was in California," said Littleton.
In Illinois, a military mother whose son is stationed on a different base and can't make it home for the holidays, wanted to help out as well.
"She's a school teacher so her classrooms are making stockings to donate," explained Littleton.
It spiraled from there," It's really been a blessing to see people come out and just give," she said.
The project is now named Operation Squad.
"They have common areas and we're gonna set some of them out," said Littleton. "Kinda like an honor system. If you feel like you need it you take it. If you feel like you need 3, take 3."
Stacie's asking for them be donated in honor of a special military member in your life. Those donated for fallen heroes are going straight to the Warrior transitional center.
"We know that none of those soldiers are going home for any holiday. They're there so we want to bring the holidays to them," said Stacie.
A time all about family. "People don't think of the holidays as going to McDonald's," said Littleton. "It's getting in the car and driving to grandmas house. Those smells and that atmosphere."
Besides the stockings that's what Stacie plans to give to any soldiers who need a taste of home this holiday season.
"If we have 10 people or we have 500 come through here, they'll eat," she said.
She says any leftover food will be taken back with her son to other soldiers.
As for the stockings, any size stocking and any amount of investment you want to make is appreciated.
They can be filled toiletries, personal items, candies, etc. Just no contraband. With each one they ask that you include a note with the name of the military member it's donated in honor of.
They can be dropped off at the Shop and Drop on Davis Road or at 3106 Wrightsboro Road. You can also contact Operation Squad on Facebook.
They are selling t-shirts to raise money and have a PayPal set up if you want to just donate.
The stockings will be given out on December 5th.