"Send Santa to The Troops" is collecting donations - WNEM TV 5

"Send Santa to The Troops" is collecting donations

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As the holiday is coming closer, it's bittersweet thinking of the troops who can't celebrate their holidays at home.

So some community members are bringing Santa to the troops.

“It gets challenging,” said Simon Santiago

Santiago, a  U.S. Army Veteran, knows all too well what it's like to spend the holidays overseas.

He says while being deployed in Afghanistan, it was the little gifts that got him through the season.

“Those little snacks and those little goodies are very appreciated,” said Simon Santiago

We caught up with Santiago at the Dort Federal Event Center where “Send Santa to The Troops" volunteers were taking donations.

The charity puts together holiday care packages to local service men and women stationed abroad. Travis George helps with the event. He was at Elwood's in Burton, another donation drop off spot. 

“We want to just give them a little piece of home," George said. "Wive them a little break in between their downtime. We want to say thank you for what they’re doing."

Radio personalities Johnny Burke and Lisa Marie from Fox 103.9 joined George as they want everyone to get involved.

“Obviously everybody wants to do something this time of year for somebody," Burke said. "So what’s better than giving back to the troops?”

"Drop off anything, anything matters," Marie said. "It really does."

Donations can include, snack food, games, personal hygiene items, books, and of course money.

Santiago says these care packages got him through some pretty rough times. He hopes they will do the same for other soldiers far from home.

“The people can get the support especially when they’re away from friends and family,” Santiago said.

The drive lasts until Nov. 20.

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