santa

Magical Elves and Santa Claus himself are asking for extra help this year to bring cheer, joy, happiness and appreciation to veterans of all ages during the annual Santa Socks program, sponsored by United Veterans Council of Missoula and Ravalli counties with the help of many veteran organizations and veteran supporters.

New pairs of socks and other small items to place in the socks can be dropped off at American Legion Post 27 Hall, 825 Ronan St. in Missoula from Monday to Friday during the day, but don’t leave anything over the weekend as they get damaged or picked up. Items for Santa Socks also can be dropped off at Heaven’s Hidden Treasurers at 1810 North Ave. West in Missoula from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Can't make it to Missoula? Email the North Pole office at bluemountain@montana.com or call the North Pole at 719-661-4037. Santa Baby or another magical elf  will pick everything.

Check or cash donations can be put in the American Legion Post 27 mail slot or mailed to them at 825 Ronan Street, Missoula, MT 59801 with the notation on the check “SANTA SOCKS.” A donation of any amount will be put to great use.

Santa Socks needs 550 warm new socks. Any color will do, but veterans tend to like black socks that go to the calf. Retail stores sell bundles of socks with six to 10 in a pack.

They also need:

- Toy medal race cars. Retail stores sell some 5 to 10 to a pack.

- Small green and black plastic soldiers like you played with as a kid.

- 350 handmade Christmas cards made with glitter, colored construction paper, markers, and crayons that say "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" and "I love you for your service to our nation." Because the cards do not go into the socks and are hand presented to the veterans by hand, the cards are needed by Dec. 15. Call Santa Baby to have them picked up.

- Hotel packets of lotion, shampoo, conditioner or mouthwash, which are dropped into the new pairs of socks.

- Pencils, large key chains or other promotional items that can be dropped into the socks.

The Santa Socks began in 2008.

Magical elves and Santa Claus hand delivers these warm pairs of socks to veterans at nursing homes, independent and assisted living apartments, vet centers, Veteran Administration offices at the Western Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery, and veteran clinics in Missoula and Ravalli counties, plus private homes and businesses - wherever the magical elves and Santa Claus find veterans to thank and spread Christmas cheer.

The magical elves that themselves are veterans and members of veteran organizations.

This is a simple and lovely way to show you care to young and old veterans that need your love. Veterans that have fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and everything in between receive Santa Socks so you touch veterans ranging in age from 25 to 95.

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