Program to provide Christmas gifts to children of fallen soldiers

Posted at 9:30 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 23:30:00-05

For children who have lost a parent, the holiday season can be difficult time, but one Middle Tennessee non-profit organization wants to make sure kids of fallen service members, have a reason to smile on Christmas.

A Soldier’s Child Foundation is starting the Season of Sacrifice or S.O.S. program. It aims to provide Christmas gifts to 500 kids who have lost their military parents.

The pilot program will reach children in Tennessee, Georgia, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  Foundation officials said the goal is to reach all 50 states next year.

A Soldier’s Child Foundation started in Murfreesboro 10 years ago. Founder and Executive Director Daryl Mackin said it started by giving birthday gifts to his neighbor’s grandson whose father died serving in Iraq.  It has now grown to reach 3000 kids across the country. In addition to providing birthday gifts, the foundation sends kids to camp, and helps fund college scholarships.

Mackin said the holiday season is a great opportunity to try and spread some Christmas cheer to kids who have lost a parent.

“Their parent signed a contract they would defend the freedoms we get to live out at Christmas, and now their children are suffering at Christmas time,” said Mackin. “This is an opportunity for people across Tennessee to give to these children.”

Donated gifts can be dropped off Saturday, Dec. 8 at Providence United Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet. The kids will receive the gifts at a party on the same day.

There are still 41 families in Tennessee that have not been sponsored. You can help by visiting the organization's website.