More than 100 volunteer "elves" from the $25.3 billion State Employees’ Credit Union came from across North Carolina to assemble “SECU Supports the Troops” gift boxes. The credit union’s 245 branches began the effort in September by decorating foyers and accepting donations from SECU members and local community groups through Oct. 31.
Then, on Dec. 1, the volunteers gathered at a SECU operations center in Raleigh to assemble the boxes full of travel-sized toiletries, first aid items, games, socks and snack for shipment to National Guardsmen and other North Carolina-based deployed soldiers.
When the third annual effort was completed, there were 34 pallets laden with more than 400 boxes of gifts from home. Also included were letters from North Carolina schoolchildren thanking the soldiers for their service, and member contributions also helped with shipping costs.
Here is a gift box ready for final preparation for shipment.