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Nominated by Wayne Johnson
Length of Service:
50 hours per month for 11 years
February 4, 2014
Margie and her late husband started Adopt-A-Son over ten years ago. Today, she heads a team of nearly 100 volunteers who organize the donations, pack and ship them to deployed Montana service men and women. All of the gifts, the money and postage costs are donated by our community -- individuals, businesses, and groups -- or purchased with donated money, and lovingly packaged by the nearly 100 volunteers. The postage costs in 2013 alone were over $12,000. All donated.
In 2003, Margie, along with key individuals from several Bozeman businesses formed Adopt A Sox to send holiday care packages to the hundreds of local military personnel that had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Each year, business leaders have worked together with coordinators from Helena and Bozeman to send out care packages during the holidays.
Adopt A Sox sends 1.3 cubic foot, 22-pound boxes to local military personnel stationed overseas during the holiday season. Preparation of these packages is a year round process. Throughout the year, non-perishable items, such as books, DVDs, puzzle books, small travel games, Christmas cards, playing cards, etc. are gathered and stored. Hotels are contacted to request donations of shampoo, lotion, conditioner, mouthwash, etc.
As reported from KTVM Television Station by Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, email@example.com
Anderson School students help prepare gifts for soldiers overseas...
The Adopt A Sox program sends boxes of goodies to soldiers deployed overseas, from candy and books to homemade caps and cards.
This year, the program took a different approach by preparing boxes for relatives of students at Anderson School. In all, the group plans to send out over 300 boxes this year.
Anderson School student Karly Jordan has an uncle overseas. "What was one of the things you saw in that box that you thought he would really like?" we asked. "Candy," replied Jordan.
Adopt A Sox organizers tell us they had students with family members overseas and their classmates prepare boxes this year to bring home the reality of being overseas.
"Having someone deployed and having the kids involved and what a treat for the person on the other side," explains Margie Kankrlik.
If all goes as planned, the folks with Adopt A Sox plan to organize a Skype with the soldiers and the students from Anderson School when they open their gifts.
As reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle...
First- and second-grade students at Anderson School in Bozeman watched over the Internet on Tuesday as U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Tim Steffan opened their gift in Bahrain.
"So, this is the package you all sent to me," Steffan said, holding a large white box up to his computer's camera. "I haven't opened it yet. Should I go ahead and open it?"
"Yes!" the students yelled back.
Steffan's niece, Karly Jordan, is in the class. She and about 10 of her classmates sat in front of a computer and projector screen so they could see Steffan and he could see them, via the video calling service Skype.
The students packed Steffan's gift as part of the Adopt A Sox program, which sends "Christmas stockings" to members of the armed forces who are deployed or stationed overseas. Each recipient is from Montana or has ties to the state, and each gift contains a little piece of the Big Sky.
Steffan's box held a photo of his niece preparing the gift with her class, as well as handwritten letters from the students.
Adopt A Sox packed and shipped 320 gift boxes this holiday season, organizer Margie Kankrlik said.
It's important that service members "know that the people back home still care," she said.
Military contacts submit names, and local people nominate service members to receive packages, which are filled with items donated by Gallatin Valley businesses.
The boxes contained items such as books, playing cards, magazines, handknit hats, footballs and beef jerky. Kenyon Noble donated 1,000 packages of jerky this year. Local volunteers also contributed handmade gifts, and children wrote letters and draw pictures to include.
"So, the guys from Montana are really popular when the box comes," said Adopt A Sox volunteer Wayne Johnson.
After Steffan opened his gift Tuesday, Karly and her classmates asked him questions about Bahrain, an island off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf.
"Do you have a Christmas tree? Does fruit grow there? Do you have mangoes?" the kids asked.
Steffan told the kids it was about 8 p.m. there while it was about 11 a.m. in Montana. The temperature had been in the 70s and 80s that day, and yes, they grow some fruit, such as pomegranates, apricots and dates.
Adopt A Sox has organized video calls for the classes of three Anderson School students who have ties to overseas servicemen and servicewomen.
Today, Army National Guard Spc. Troy Merriman will connect via Skype with the school from his duty station in Kuwait. On Friday, students will Skype with U.S. Army Pfc. Tanner Thompson who is stationed in Vicenza, Italy.
Amanda Ricker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is on Twitter@amandaricker.
A letter to the Chronicle...
Adopt-A-Sox for its random act of kindness
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 9:09 am
By Bill Burris
Today I received a quick and short email from my son, U.S. Navy Seaman Jackson Burris. Jack is on deployment aboard his ship somewhere overseas a very, very long way from my home here in Livingston. He was wondering who in Montana would send him four large packages that mysteriously arrived onboard his ship yesterday somewhere in the middle of some ocean out there somewhere. He was especially curious since he doesn't know anyone else here in all of Montana except for me, and one of his sisters who recently moved out here from Washington, D.C.
Well those four packages were the handy work of the wonderful, wonderful ladies and gentlemen at Bozeman's Adopt-A-Sox organization, with whom I filled out a card sometime this past summer giving my active duty son's address. Never in a million years did I ever believe what a wonderful surprise for Jack and his crewmates this package would be, let alone what an emotional one it would mean to me.
This wonderful and random act of kindness from all those volunteers and donors in and around Bozeman - all total strangers, truly exemplifies just what this season is all about. On behalf of my son and my family, I want to thank everyone at Adopt-A-Sox and its supporters for this wonderful experience for all of us. God Bless you all and a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to each of you from us. Your surprise package was a huge success.
KXLF Television video...
Video of surprise homecoming... http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/soldier-surprises-family-with-trip-home-for-christmas/23597114
I have much more, but this is just a sample of Margie's commitment and dedication to the Adopt-A-Sox cause.
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