SAN ANGELO, Texas — Each year, for the last five years, the San Angelo Elks Lodge has hosted the "Home Away from Home" event for active duty military members stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base, who cannot be home with their families for Christmas Day.
Many of the young military members have recently joined the service and are still adapting to a new way of life. For some, this will be the first time they have been away from home for the Christmas holiday.
The Elks are asking for donations of gift cards (minimum $25), or other new items that can be used as appropriate gender, or neutral gifts, for the service members attending the event. Cash is always acceptable, and will be used to purchase additional gifts for the event.
While typically held at the lodge, this year, because of COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, the "Home Away from Home" event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Christmas Day at the First Financial Pavilion, 4400 Grape Creek Road.
A traditional Christmas meal will be provided for the service members, along with gift(s) and games. This year, because of the greater anticipated number of service men and women from Goodfellow, there will be an increased need for additional food and gifts for those attending.
The San Angelo Lions have helped with some of the expenses, and Lions Club members from across San Angelo have volunteered for the event.
The Elks are asking for additional partners to help with meal and gifts.
Gifts or food can be delivered to the Elks Lodge, 2121 S. Chadbourne St., by 6 p.m. Dec. 24. The lodge is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
This event is a wonderful opportunity for the San Angelo community to show their appreciation for the men and women serving in the armed forces.
If you would like to be part of this celebration and donate gifts, gift cards or food, please call 325-227-6920.