The Mayes County Chapter of Blue Star Mothers is still going strong.
Despite being a small chapter of 12 mothers, this Mayes County group is managing to send out 50 care packages every month, several of which are to Mayes County soldiers.
Pam Buffington, President of the Mayes County chapter of Blue Star Mothers, says it all began when her son was deployed. He requested that she send care packages to the other soldiers in his unit, and it grew from there.
Now, Buffington finds the names of soldiers through their family and friends, and through other solders.
“I will keep doing this until I absolutely can’t anymore, or until everyone comes home,” said Buffington. “Whether it is my kid or not, I want everyone to be taken care of.”
Buffington and the mothers are working on packaging Christmas care packages that wil be sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. Each of these packages will contain a personalized stocking, done by volunteers, full of stocking stuffers. In addition to food and toiletries, the mothers are sending Christmas ornaments and even trees.
“Where ever we have several soldiers together, we send a Christmas tree. But absolutely every care package gets a personal stocking, stocking stuffers, and ornaments in with their regular package,” said Buffington.
The care packages include local newspapers.
“We want the soldiers to be able to see what is going on in the town that is supporting them,” said Buffington. “It doesn’t matter where they are, or where they’re from, they appreciate these packages.”
The Blue Star Mothers are grateful for the support they receive from the community, both with donations and volunteers.
“You don’t have to be a mom of a soldier to volunteer, anyone can help out. We could not do this without the support of the community. We have been blessed with a great community,” said Buffington.
She said she receives letters from soldiers thanking her for the packages, and for her hard work.
This time of year, Buffington says the soldiers really appreciate things that make them think about home.
“A good rule of thumb is that if you would buy it for yourself this time of year, we can send it,” said Buffington. “The soldiers really appreciate letters, drawings from the kids and Christmas cards.”
Buffington does ask that any letters or cards donated are left unsealed, and that donated ornaments are shatterproof.
“We want them to enjoy their Christmas as much as possible,” said Buffington.