Stockings for Soldiers marks 3rd year

Stockings full of holiday gifts will be sent to Ohio National Guard Troop 1486th Transportation Company, stationed in Afghanistan.

Donations can be dropped off at Gover Harley-Davidson, 1501 E. Ash St., or Melcher-Sowers Funeral Home, 646 W. High St., both in Piqua, through Nov. 12. Participants can also pick up a stocking to fill at the locations.

“The first year we sent 100 stockings, last year we sent 205 stockings and this year the goal is 165 stockings,” coordinator said Loverna Dilbone, who coordinates the event with Jerry Sowers and Tracy Gover.

Stockings for Soldiers was started by the Veterans and Family Memorial group, of which the funeral home is a member.

“This is one small way we can share a little bit of home with the soldiers overseas protecting our rights and our freedom,” Dilbone said.

Requested items include candy canes and other hard candy, mints, lip balm, AA and AAA batteries, playing cards, multivitamins, small stuffed animals and crossword puzzles. Three ounce bottles of shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and sunblock are also needed.

All items should be placed in a stocking with a half inch of space left on top for packing purposes. Monetary donations will also be accepted.

“It’s been a real pleasure to do this because we do get feedback from the soldiers telling us how much they appreciate it,” Dilbone said. “We’re very proud of the soldiers who protect our freedom every single day.”

Any items that don’t fit in a stocking will be donated to Blue Star Mothers groups in Miami and Shelby counties. Unused funds will be given to the 1486th Family Readiness group.

For more information, call 773-1647 or find Melcher-Sowers Funeral Home on Facebook or visit

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