OPERATION SOS â€“ From left are, Coni Mayer, ACCF executive director; Greg Farmer, store manager; Walmart employee Nina Pancake; SOS organizers and Walmart employees El Mesker and Jessica Phillips; and Walmart employees Debi Hunter and Tony Glick. (Photo provided)
The Walmart store in Decatur and the Adams County Community Foundation have begun an effort to collect donations of food and other products to be sent to United States military personnel from Adams County in time for Christmas. The project is called Salute Our Soldiers (SOS).
The goal is to have enough items for local service members to be able to share them with others in their units.
Coni Mayer, executive director of the ACCF, said a large display is located in the store "to identify items most requested by our troops" and "there is a bin at the service desk at the front of the store to put your items in."
She added, "When shopping at Walmart, customers may note employees wearing SOS pins to remind shoppers of the program."
Llocal organizers of the SOS project are Jessica Phillips and El Mesker, who said in a news release, "We are having a nice response for our items, but there is plenty of room for more. The bin is in the customer service office.
"We just wanted to do something for our community that would really unite it. We would like to carry this program throughout the year for different holidays. Just because [military personnel] aren't home doesn't mean they can't celebrate with us."
Greg Farmer, Walmart manager, added, "We at Walmart are excited about the program and can't wait to see the turnout. To aid this cause, we are donating $250 to help with shipping."
Mayer says monetary donations are also accepted: "No amount is too small. Even coins are welcomed to offset the costs of postage. It is estimated that there will be more than $500 in postage, so with the help of our community, we will get these packages sent in time to enjoy Christmas."
Mayer said anyone who knows where local military personnel are deployed should call the ACCF, 724-3939, to add their names to the list.
The SOS boxes will be mailed on November 15.
For more information about SOS, call the ACCF or contact the foundation by e-mail at ACCFoundation@earthlink.net.