MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Santa’s workshop recently moved from the North Pole to the Myrtle Beach Mall for a few days.
The organization Support Military Families is currently making 2,000 care packages for military families.
For one family volunteering, they know what it means to receive one of these packages at this time of year.
“The time and the effort put forth in the boxes and the handwritten notes and the little personalized things, it means a lot,” said Tera Miller, one of the volunteers.
Miller’s husband is overseas in the military, but he’ll be back home soon to see her and their four children.
Whenever he hasn’t been able to make it home for the holidays, Miller has received care packages from Support Military Families.
”It just made me feel very special to know that people are thinking about us,” she said. “Now that I’m seeing the work that was put into all this, it makes me appreciate it even more.”
After years of being on the receiving end of the care packages, Miller and her children are volunteering to help put them together for other military families this year.
Each bag is full of jewelry for the spouses, toys for the kids, a Bible and a handwritten letter to thank the families for the sacrifices they make.
”We get caring cards from elementary school children, from corporate executives, from every stage and all walks of life,” said Diane Rumley, Executive Director of Support Military Families. “The simple act of writing a thank you card means the world to the writer and the receiver.”
Many of the cards were proofread by Richard Dunn, a veteran with nearly two decades of military experience.
”Hopefully what we did today will give these families a sense of feeling like they’re not alone,” said Dunn.
If the volunteers are like Santa’s elves, then North Myrtle Beach firefighters will play the role of Santa. The firefighters are going to turn Penske trucks into sleighs to deliver the packages to families in Charleston and areas in North Carolina including Fayetteville, Jacksonville and Goldsborough.
Rumley said it usually takes two weeks for enough families to register for the 2,000 care packages.
This year, they were booked out within 24 hours.
”I didn’t expect that, because of COVID, but clearly, the military spouses need the encouragement,” said Rumley.
More than a thousand care packages were packed at the Myrtle Beach Mallon Wednesday and several hundred will also be packed Thursday.
The packages are currently scheduled to be delivered on Dec. 4.