Help send Santa to the troops - WNEM TV 5

Help send Santa to the troops

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

When the holidays come around strong emotions typically follow.

Heidi Coggins thinks a lot about her brother Gregory Kuhn-Natividad. He is in the Air Force and will not be home for Christmas.

"I think about the things that he might be able to need," Coggins said.

Her brother is stationed in Africa, one of thousands of Americans deployed overseas.

"He's been in Afghanistan twice now and now Africa. So yeah, it is hard. You try not to worry about it on a daily basis, that's why it's nice to touch base with him once in awhile. It kind of gives you that ease," Coggins said.

She said volunteering her time to help military members like her brother also gives her much needed comfort this time of year. For two years she has worked with the Yellow Ribbon Guard to send Santa to Mid-Michigan troops.

"He has family like us that can send him things too. But there's probably so many out there that don't. So just being able to do this is just great," Coggins said.

Her boots are to the ground on the home front and she invites others to help give our military members a happy holidays.

Melissa Alex is on the mission. She was out placing signs on Thursday hoping people will help fill the bus with basic necessities troops need.

"There are soldiers and sailors and Marines out there that get nothing during the holidays," Alex said.

As for Coggins, she said those troops are making the same sacrifice as her brother and sending gifts provides them the Christmas spirit they deserve.

"You know, it touches their heart. It makes them feel like they're being remembered while they're away and away from family and friends and that somebody is thinking of them," Coggins said.

You can participate by dropping off donations to Garber Buick on State Street in Saginaw. Organizers are looking for toiletries and entertainment items. They will also take cash because it costs $10,000 to $15,000 to ship the care packages overseas.

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