A cardboard moving box holding cans of shaving cream sat on the table in the garage, jammed next to hundreds of disposable razors and toothbrushes. Inside the house, other boxes held bags of trail mix, Xbox games, batteries and candy. Walking among the mass of supplies and volunteers could be difficult at times.
"My house has been overrun," said Susan Allen, the volunteer coordinator for Operation Homefront Washington. "The only place where there’s not Christmas stuff is our bedrooms and bathrooms on the second floor."
But 20 volunteers steadily sorted through the stacks of donated goods Saturday at Allen’s Yelm home and stuffed them into stockings destined for wounded soldiers at Fort Lewis. They wore Santa hats – trimmed with white stars against a blue background, like the American flag – as they filled the stockings with DVDs, disposable cameras, pudding cups and playing cards.
The 875 stockings will be delivered Friday to members of the Warrior Transition Battalion, a unit of soldiers with complex medical issues that helps them prepare for a return to their military careers or civilian life.
The donations came from both large corporations and individuals and in the form of supplies and money, Allen said. During a trip to the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Lacey last month, members of the nonprofit filled 10 shopping carts with stocking stuffers.