Getting Started: Holiday Stockings for Heroes

Holiday stockings for heroes at VA Hospitals

Before you pledge your stuffed holiday stockings, please read through this important information!

Help us reach our goal of 40,000 stuffed stockings for this year’s Holiday Stockings for Heroes!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Packages will need to be postmarked or delivered by December 8th. Participants are responsible for all shipping/delivery costs to get the stockings to the designated recipient location. Please do not ship your stuffed stockings to Soldiers’ Angels Headquarters in San Antonio unless you are directed to do so by the coordinator.

Here are the items to include in your stuffed holiday stocking:

Include any combination of the following items, as well as a small card or handwritten note inside the stocking to let the Service Members and Veterans know you’re thinking of them.

  • Slim Jims or Beef Jerky
  • Packages of Holiday nuts
  • Single-serving drink mix packets (i.e. Crystal Light)
  • Playing cards
  • Puzzle book (Crosswords, Sudoku, Word Find)
  • Holiday-themed writing pens or pencil
  • Holiday candy (in sealed wrapping or small unopened bags)
  • Candy Canes
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Socks
  • Travel-sized games
  • Card games (Uno, Phase 10)
  • Stress balls (holiday-themed preferred)
  • Gloves (preferably black; winter; one size fits all)
  • Single-serving cookie packages
  • Apple cider packets (must be in Ziploc baggies in case the packets break)
  • Hot chocolate (must be in Ziploc baggies in case the packets breaks)
  • Small notepads
  • Holiday-themed lip balm (wrapping and scent)
  • Winter caps/hats
  • Other holiday-themed items

Please Note: All food items should be store-bought. If you are interested in baking, please join as a virtual volunteer to review any baking opportunities we may have at this time.

Please do not include these items:

  • NO GLASS (containers, ornaments, etc)
  • NO SHARP OBJECTS (safety pins, razors pocket knives)
  • NO PRODUCTS CONTAINING ALCOHOL (some mouthwash, hand sanitizer, some colognes)
  • NO Glitter
  • NO BRANDED STOCKINGS or marketing materials with company/organization names, logos, etc.
  • NO political materials

Close your stocking so it doesn’t spill!

Stockings need to be fastened at the top so items won’t spill during shipping.

A couple of years ago, someone donated this stocking using a knit stocking cap as a closure and it was brilliant! This is our preferred method for you to close the stocking since it’s easy to remove and adds a useful extra item for the recipients.

Soldiers’ Angels stocking caps can be purchased in our Angel store, or any store-bought stocking cap will work.

Please DO NOT use staples or safety pins to close your stockings (not allowed in most VA Hospitals).

Seal a Holiday Stocking for Heroes with a stocking cap
Preferred method to close stockings

Packaging and Shipping

Please ensure you carefully pack the stuffed stockings with newspaper, packing peanuts, or bubble wrap to ensure minimal damage to stockings during shipping. Please do not ship in extra-large boxes and keep box weight to less than 40 pounds.

Don’t forget: you are responsible for the cost to ship/deliver your stockings to your designated recipient location!

Marketing Materials

To help your stocking campaign be a smashing success, we’ve created some graphics that you can use to help promote your collection and/or packing party. Feel free to add these graphics to your internal materials and share across all of your channels.

Soliciting Donations

Soldiers’ Angels has created collection campaigns throughout the year as an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and organizations to come together and give back to our Service Members and Veterans. These collection campaigns are meant to be held in a way that general members of the public (i.e., your friends, family, classmates, co-workers, etc.) can donate to the campaign. If you are hosting a collection, please do not solicit cash or in-kind donations from retailers, manufacturers, large corporations, or any other business entity. Due to the nature of those requests and the paperwork involved, solicitation of donations must come directly from Soldiers’ Angels. In most cases, we already have a relationship established with many of the major businesses. If you happen to have a connection at a retailer, manufacturer, large corporation, or other business entity that you think would be willing to donate cash or in-kind items to Soldiers’ Angels, please reach out to us and we would be happy to contact them. Email: [email protected]

That’s it! You’re now fully prepared to don your ugly sweaters, dust off your yuletide spirit, and pack some stockings for military heroes!

But, if you still have questions after reading through all of the above information, please email us before you pledge: [email protected].

Tip: Don’t wait too long after September 1st to pledge… Holiday Stockings for Heroes is one of our most popular collection campaigns and the pledges will fill fast!

Holiday stockings for heroes at VA Hospitals
102 year old veteran receives Holiday Stockings for Heroes
Holiday Stockings for Heroes bring the holiday spirit to all those deployed