A very special project is going on at several local nursing homes. Local residents have been sewing stockings and pillows through a special program started by Star Harbor Operation Give Back. Their offices are located in Star Harbor, but not directly associated with them.

Christl McKenney, SHOGB founder, founded the organization named the group after losing her son who was a marine. The Gold Star is issued to families who lose a loved one fighting for our country. The Harbor portion represents a safe haven for those that have served our country, families can find solace and support in a community where they can all heal together.

“It is an honor none of our Gold Star families want, but wear as a scar,” McKenney stated.

McKenney found comfort and purpose from starting the group.

“It made me feel alive again to send love in a package hundreds of miles away to give a soldier a smile, it made me smile. Helping a Veteran in a nursing home cast a line in a fishing pond, made me smile. Handing out fresh baked goodies to the First Responders, made me smile. With all these smiles I ain’t got time to feel sad,” she said.

The group plans to send 480 soldiers Christmas packages to troops with homemade stockings that volunteers have been working on all year. Country Place Senior Living Facility, Athens has been cutting and sewing the stockings. Cedar lakes Nursing Home in Malakoff has been stuffing pillows, that Ruth Waymire has sewn. At 2 p.m. on Nov. 21 Cedar lakes Nursing home will help fill First Responder Christmas Candy Bags.

Loretta Humble, owner of Cedar Lake Nursing Home, expressed excitement over her residents participation in the program.

The group is also remembering the veterans at home.

“We are placing four Adopt A Vet Christmas trees around Henderson County on Nov. 25. These angel stockings will go to Veteran’s in Henderson County. They will be placed at the First State Bank in Malakoff, First State Bank in Mabank, VFW Athens, VFW Seven Points.  

If you would like to learn more about this organization please visit www.shogb.org.

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