this is the first year for the Letters for Heroes program.

Fours area groups have teamed up together in an effort to remind of the Armed Services how much they are appreciated and supported through a program called Letters for Heros.

“The scouts of Troop 120 have teamed up with the Cub Pack 120, God Squad Youth group at United Methodist Church, and the youth group at Turning Point Church to fill as many stockings as possible,” Margaret Sullivan, whose son is in Boy Scout Troop 120 said.

“What the scouts have done is write personal letters, signed Christmas cards, made homemade Christmas ornaments and placed these along with other items into stockings.”

Local businesses, like Shoe Sensation, have also donated items. Store Manager Geri Fantazia said this is the first year the store has worked with the Scouts, though they do a sock collection every year for soldiers overseas. “It ha been fun participating with the Scouts and other groups this year,” she said. “It is nice to see so many people coming together to make this so successful, in its first year.”

Last year store customers donated 400 pairs of socks, Fantazia, said donations are being accepted through Dec. 31, and anyone wishing to donate can purchase socks at the store, with a discount or can bring in socks purchased elsewhere.

Donations from other local businesses such as Hy-Vee, Walmart and Lowe’s were collected and used to help fill the stockings. Sullivan said, Scouts also donated items to fill the stockings, which were were donated by a ladies group from the Braymer area and a Scout mom.

on Saturday, the involved groups have planned a short gathering to allow the groups to donate the items to the local National Guard.

Sullivan said there has already been quite a bit of interest from individuals and groups to do the project next year.