(WBIR- West Knoxville) Thousands of American troops will be away from family this Christmas, but one East Tennessee Marine mom is stuffing stockings to brighten the holidays for the men and women serving overseas.
Lisa Nichols founded "Stockings from US" in 2010 when her son was deployed. She sent 150 stockings overseas the first year, and since then, she has filled 1,786 for our troops.
"I love the idea of the person receiving them being surprised with a little taste of home when they're not able to be home with their family," Nichols said.
"Stockings from US" has enough money to fund about 400 stockings this year, but Nichols said she would like to send 600-800.
"I know that there's a need out there," she said. "I have not had a lack of units to send stockings to, and I'll fill as many as I can and ship as many as I can, until I can't do it any more."
A team of volunteers help fill the stockings with personal hygiene products, entertainment items, and a personal note from the person sponsoring the gift.
Michael Simpson got involved with project during the second year, and he helped establish a partnership between the Knoxville Downtown Sertoma Club and "Stockings from US."
"They're away from home on their holidays, and a lot of times if they don't get these stockings, they won't get anything from home," Simpson said. "They won't have any idea that we're thinking about them."
Nichols said she's continued doing this year after year even after her son came back home because she wants to show our military that they are remembered back at home during Christmastime.
"We just want to say thank you and show our appreciation for all that they do for us," she said.
A donation of $25 covers the cost to fill and ship a stocking, Nichols said, and the deadline for donations is Nov. 26.
Nichols said all donations are tax deductible, and online donations can be made through the "Stockings from US" Facebook page.