Stockings from MW to be hung by troops

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Holiday Helpers

By Alex Wimsatt

    MOUNT WASHINGTON -- It’s a harsh truth Marsha Bergmann is all too familiar with.
    Talking with her daughter, Kelly Drescher, who’s in Afghanistan serving as a pilot with the Kentucky Air National Guard 123rd Airlift Wing, Bergmann has heard the stories of soldiers who have yet to receive packages from home and don’t expect anything this holiday season.
    To lift their spirits, Bergmann, along with some of her friends and family have taken it upon themselves to make sure every man and woman serving in the 123rd has a stocking this Christmas.
    “We wanted to make sure everybody got something, especially for Christmas,” Bergmann said.
    With the help of Janet Kleier, Tina Henson, Terri Runner, Billie Cowan, Amanda Goins and Teresa Watson, Bergmann and her crew spent a month and a half sewing 200 quilted stockings, which they recently shipped to the 123rd unit in Afghanistan from the Mount Washington Post Office .
    Not only were the quilts shipped, but thanks to contributions from several local businesses and individuals they had plenty of items to stuff them with.
    There was even enough money to cover the nearly $1,000 shipping cost.
    “The community has really embraced this,” Bergmann said. “I’m overwhelmed with the generosity.”
    Bergmann said one of the most significant contributors to the effort was ValuMarket, which worked with customers to purchase stocking stuffers.
    Besides ValuMarket, a local pizza company donated $500 for shipping, the American Sewing Guild donated fabric to make the stockings and Jewish Hospital donated stress balls.
    All in all, 20 boxes of stuffers were shipped to Afghanistan, along with letters written by Old Mill Elementary students.
    “We wanted to make sure everybody knew we were thinking of them during the holidays,” Bergmann said.     “They definitely deserve our thanks and gratitude.”
    It’s not certain when the packages will arrive in Afghanistan, however, Bergmann said the post office assured her that they would arrive by Christmas.
    After the 123rd unit receives the packages and have the chance to hang the stockings for a few days,  Bergmann said her daughter and other soldiers plan to send the stockings to Marine and Army units stationed near them in Afghanistan.