BONDURANT, Iowa -- For the first time, Bondurant's Brick Street Market and Café is making sure Iowa soldiers who are overseas for the holidays receive some Christmas cheer by sending care packages that will make them feel home sweet home.
"They love it. They just know somebody is thinking about them. They don't get to be home," said Lois Charron, a mother with two sons with military experience.
For many Iowa soldiers, home for the holidays just isn't a reality. Lois said, "We know they are sacrificing their time with their family. We know they are missing the Christmas tree in the window and they aren't seeing that this year."
Lois is a member of the Blue Star Mothers of Iowa. It's a group of moms with veterans and current children serving in the military. "Our kids aren't always home so we do what we can to keep us busy so we don't think about it as much," she said. A handful from the group along with the Brick Street Market were making sure those soldiers don't feel alone. "We try to do a little bit of hygiene, a bit of snacks, beef jerky, candy and try to throw fun stuff in. We've done Nerf balls," said Lois.
The soldiers receiving the boxes all departed from Boone and they'll be opening a little piece of Iowa. "The Iowa Hall of Fame donated a bunch of Iowa high school t-shirts to us so every box will have a t-shirt from some Iowa community," Lois said.
Donations came from places like the Madison County Hospital, Story County Treasurer's Office, the Bondurant community and even handwritten letters from Bondurant grade school students. "Just the response we've had from our customers and employees has been overwhelming. "I think it makes everyone feel good that our soldiers are taken care of," said Reenie Hogan, General Manager of Brick Street Market and Cafe.
Brick Street Market and Café along with the Blue Star Moms of Iowa plan to finish around sixty packages Wednesday night and send them out within the next few days so the soldiers can get them just in time for the holidays.