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Community joins forces for soldiers at Christmas

Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm

The Fayetteville-Lincoln County community came to the aid of a local military wife, assisting her husband in making sure Christmas gifts were delivered to soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Pausing for a photo are some of the volunteers involved, (from left) Shannon Blackwood, Linda Gentle, Cindy Kite and Patty Patrick.

When a local military wife needed help, the Fayetteville-Lincoln county community came to her aid, joining forces to help pull off a Christmas miracle for soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Brooke Grubb contacted his wife, Amy Gentle Grubb in Fayetteville, concerned that some of his soldiers would not have any Christmas gifts. He asked her to buy some small gifts for his 35 soldiers, wrap them and ship them in less than five days to assure their arrival in Afghanistan by Christmas.

Amy, along with her mother, Linda Gentle, and Evelyn Smith started by making 36 colorful pillow slips to use as the packaging. Amy also contacted her church, the Washington Street Church of Christ, and the Mimosa Church of Christ, and the ladies went to work making cookies.

Linda contacted her garden club, the Stone Bridge Garden Club, to help collect, fill, wrap and package all the pillow slips.

Local merchants, including The Flower House, NDesign, Dan Holt and Higgins Funeral Home donated calendars, pads and pens, t-shirts, peanuts and key chains. Other people donated paperback books, beef jerky, toiletries and playing cards, plus funds to ship the packages.

What looked to be a rather sad Christmas for the soldiers so far away from home turned into a Christmas miracle, organizers say – 10 large boxes were filled and shipped, one day before the deadline.

The effort took many people offering much help. Those getting the pillow slips made, the cookies baked and boxes filled, packed and shipped include Sandy Trentham, Shannon Blackwood, Ana Bahm, Anne Underwood, Evelyn Smith, Faye Gordon, Dorothy Grubb, Pat Sanders, Patty Patrick, Ann Fogg, Judy Rives, Tammy Grubb, Eda Tabor, Cindy Kite, Elma Beasley, Linda Pettie, Amy Gentle Grubb, Elsie Elkberg, Teresa Brown, Margarette Lane, Jane Greer and Linda Gentle.

When a community pulls together, organizers said, nothing is impossible.