Angel Blog

2023 Holiday Recap

Visits from Santa, turkeys and hams, holiday support, ugly sweaters, and Grinch shenanigans… We had so much fun supporting Service Members, Veterans, and their families this holiday season! The holidays are a hectic time of year for everyone – but especially for those who are struggling. We are so grateful for our community of supporters who always step in to ensure our holiday programs meet their goals. Here’s a recap of the holiday cheer you helped create in 2023!

Treats for Troops

We had hundreds of collection sites across the country this year collecting candy for Treats for Troops. We almost had coverage in all 50 states! Treats for Troops isn’t just for Halloween. That candy gets distributed across the entire holiday season to Veteran patients in VA Hospitals, Chaplains, active duty Service Members/Guard/Reserves, and Deployed Service Members. Here’s one story from a unit that was so touched by the candy and cards they received.

“A dentist’s office had patients create pictures to accompany the candy. It was a big hit among Service Members. The candy has been utilized in many ways during drill weekends and holiday parties to include families. Mugs were filled with candy and wrapped with ribbons. We shared with our Service Members and Veterans coming in for ID cards as well. Candy was used during our 2 weekend Toy event for Service Members for them to add to Christmas stockings, as well as unit parties in the building. What is left is going to be used for our Unit Valentine’s Day party coming up. We shared that this was courtesy of Soldiers’ Angels and all were very grateful.” – Doryuan

View our Treats for Troops photos here

Holiday Stockings for Heroes

Our Holiday Stockings for Heroes campaign expanded this year to support active duty Service Members, National Guard, and Reserves (in addition to deployed Service Members and Veterans). Individuals, families, corporations, small businesses, and organizations pulled together to collect 45,474 stuffed holiday stockings!

“Our units were beyond excited to receive these stockings. With the great timing that we received these, we were able to have them distributed at the holiday parties for our units. Not only were we able to ensure the Army National Guard Units were able to enjoy these great stockings, but we were also able to get this to the Army Reserve units here as well. Everyone was beyond excited to receive a stocking and the goodies inside. Thank you for all you do to ensure our units get some holiday cheer!” – Juan

View our Holiday Stockings for Heroes photos here


This year, we expanded our Adopt-A-Family program to include active duty Service Members, and activated National Guard and Reserve families, greatly increasing applications for the program. Thanks to the outpouring of support, we ensured 1,897 families received gifts for their children and gift cards for their holiday meals! It was an incredible undertaking, but we are so glad we were able to make it happen!

Soldiers’ Angels got in on the action by adopting a family with our staff at headquarters. We had so much fun shopping and wrapping gifts for this San Antonio family of five. Since they were local, we invited them to come to headquarters to pick up their gifts from Santa. Here’s the video.

The stories are still rolling in – and there are so many good ones – but this one stuck out to us. This family restaurant not only adopted a family but also invited them to dine at their restaurant! What a great idea!

“The family/owners/restaurant of Flickabirds Resort on East Rush Lake in Minnesota reached out to my family this holiday season and it was such a blessing. They invited us down for supper at the restaraunt, that gave our family a nice opportunity to be out in a comfortable setting, not to mention the food was amazing. They even let my children play games in their game room! Everyone involved made me feel really proud and honored about being a Veteran of the Iraq War and it has been long time since I had that feeling. It was an absolute humbling experience and I can’t thank them enough for the care they showed me and my family. Did I mention they also gave us Christmas presents? It could not have come at a better time for us. We are so thankful for the thoughtful gifts and the whole experience. Thank you to them for helping me feel proud of my service again. God Bless!!!” – Kyle

View our Adopt-A-Family photos here

Military and Veteran Food Distributions

We had so much fun getting into the holiday spirit during our Military & Veteran Food Distributions! We handed out Turkeys, pumpkin pies, and other Turkey Day staples in November and Ham and holiday stockings in December. We also had Santas and elves and even a Grinch or two! Here are some photos.

Holiday Parties

Our collection drives and food distributions are not the only way we spread cheer. Thanks to volunteers and VA Representatives across the country, we spread holiday cheer to Veterans at several of the VA Hospitals we serve.

We hosted a holiday Bingo and Dinner in San Antonio at the American GI Forum. Magnolia Pancake Haus donated pork slider meals and volunteered their time; the Kohl’s team also volunteered. We handed out Holiday Stockings, played Bingo, and shared a meal. Also, in San Antonio, we participated in the VA’s HUD VASH Winter Party, providing boxed lunches, Holiday Stockings, and candy bags to Veterans.

Our Orlando volunteers joined in on the Lake Nona VA’s cherished annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The event featured a delightful spread of Coffee and Donuts, Santa, carolers, and popcorn. Our enthusiastic team, alongside a group of wonderful volunteers from Target, came together to make it a truly memorable occasion. A special shout-out to our new Coffee and Donuts Coordinator, Lisha, for adding an extra layer of warmth to the festivities. Thank you for helping us spread the holiday cheer!

Santa Visits and Grinch Shenanigans

Santa made his rounds to the Soldiers’ Angels events this holiday season. We saw him at our Military & Veteran Food Distributions, VA Hospitals, and other places to show his support for Service Members and Veterans. He handed out Holiday stockings, visited patients, and spread holiday cheer. Here’s a quick recap of our yearly #SantaSightings.

Ugly sweaters galore

Finally, we brought back our Stateside vs. Deployed Ugly Sweater competition! After supplying a Deployed unit with Ugly sweaters for their holiday party, we launched a friendly competition between them and our staff. Launched on National Ugly Sweater Day, we challenged followers to vote for the best sweaters. The winner? Deployed, of course! Read all about it here.