I'll have some ideas for volunteer opportunities for kids next week, but here's one way that families can help out military spouses during the holidays.
Shoeboxes for Military Spouses, the country's only program dedicated to collecting and distributing shoebox gifts to military spouses, is collecting gift boxes at locations across North Carolina.
Right now, there are more than one million active duty armed forces in the U.S. military and about 400,000 serving overseas. The group partners with the military to distribute the shoeboxes to spouses, who are mostly wives with children.
Supporters can fill a shoebox with appropriate gifts, along with a $7.50 donation or more per box to help cover shipping and other project costs. They'll be collected through Dec. 17.
Suggested gifts for wives include a a book of inspiration, lip gloss, bath lotions, note pads, journal, candles and jewelry. For military husbands, ideas include a book of inspiration, sports magazine, non-breakable mug, deck of cards, gum and note pads.
This year, the program has drop-off sites in Apex, Cary, Fayetteville, Smithfield, Selma, Holly Springs, Lumberton, Sanford, Spring Lake, Hope Mills, Angier, Snow Hill, Kinston and Wallace. For a list of specific collections sites, click here.