Murrysville church taking nominations, donations for ‘A Soldier’s Christmas’ program | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Murrysville church taking nominations, donations for ‘A Soldier’s Christmas’ program

Patrick Varine
1903382_web1_gtr-SoldiersXmas-110619
Submitted photo/Stover Family
Evan Stover poses with a photo of care packages sent by Murrysville Alliance Church in November 2016 through its “A Soldier’s Christmas” program.
1903382_web1_gtr-SoldiersXmas2-110619
Submitted photo/Stover Family
Evan Stover poses with a photo of care packages sent by Murrysville Alliance Church in November 2016 through its “A Soldier’s Christmas” program.

Gordon Israelson of Murrysville knows the importance a handwritten note can hold for a soldier stationed overseas.

“Mail is kind of always a big deal,” said Israelson, who was stationed in Germany from 1969 to 1972 with the U.S. Army. “A long-distance call to Europe back then was amazingly expensive.”

Communication is much more swift nowadays thanks to email and Skype, but Israelson and the members of the Murrysville Alliance Church’s veterans’ ministry know the value of a well-timed care package, which is why they’re seeking nominations for their holiday program, “A Soldier’s Christmas.”

The program has been in place for more than a decade at the church.

“We want to send our expression of our love for them to any veteran stationed overseas,” Israelson said. “We get the nicest cards and letters back, especially from people on the front lines in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. They don’t have access to a (post exchange military store), so they can’t get a lot of stuff they need.”

In addition to nominations, the veterans’ ministry also is accepting donations of food, toiletries and other everyday items.

“We send snacks, toiletries, Christmas decorations and kids from the elementary schools will often make cards to send,” Israelson said.

Nominations can be submitted to the church office by calling 724-327-7206 and supplying a soldier’s name, rank if available and APO or FPO box number. Home addresses will not be accepted.

Nominations and donations are due by Nov. 22, so church officials have enough time to fill out the required customs forms to send items overseas.

Israelson said the care packages help bring comfort to people “in a place you wouldn’t ordinarily be, doing things you wouldn’t ordinarily do with people you wouldn’t ordinarily be with.”

For more, see MurrysvilleAllianceChurch.org.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.