SOLVANG, Calif. - "Santa Ynez Support the Troops" volunteers are spreading holiday joy to American troops stationed around the world.
The group meets every month in Solvang to send care packages to service men and women. They normally send about 70 boxes but this month because of the holidays 155 boxes are being shipped out.
"Anything that you think that they may need in a place that's cold and dirty and don't have the comforts of home, that's what we try to send," said organizer Pat Sullivan.
Inside the boxes are little comforts from home like beef jerky, toothpaste, fresh socks and magazines like Sports Illustrated. Fourteen of the care packages are even dedicated to K-9 soldiers with doggie treats, Frisbees and chew toys.
"It's a tremendous boost of moral," said US Army Reservist Art Kaslow. He received a care package from the Santa Ynez group while overseas. "It's a tremendous support system and it's making [the troops] feeling of Christmas much more authentic."
Along with the food, clothing and entertainment, each box is sealed with a handmade card from local children. Showing just how much military members are appreciated especially during the holiday season.
"It's just the sweetest thing," volunteer Pat Donato said. "Here are these small little children just writing these letters, maybe not realizing, but they are making a difference in someone's life."
Community support and donations make these holiday care packages possible. All 155 were packed on Wednesday and handed delivered to the post office by members of "Santa Ynez Support the Troops."