More than 5,000 soldiers from North Carolina stationed overseas for the holidays will be receiving gift packages this year from the $27 billion State Employees’ Credit Union, the big credit union said Friday.
The 1.8 million member SECU began the SECU Supports the Troops collection effort at its 252 branches in September and wrapped up the fourth-annual campaign on Dec. 7 as nearly 120 staffers and volunteers gathered at one of its Raleigh facilities to fill gift boxes with games, snacks, first aid items and toiletries, topped off with handwritten cards from school children.
In attendance was Army Sgt. Odaliska Almonte, who said she received one of the gift boxes last year during her deployment to Kuwait.
"The care packages were great, especially all of the cards we received from children. They were the highlight of the box and many soldiers posted them over their bunks so they would be the first thing they would see – the cards just lifted your spirits,” she said.
Jim Johnson, SECU Board chair who volunteered on packing day, added in the credit union’s statement, "This is such an amazing project to be part of. SECU Supports the Troops would not happen without the generosity and volunteer efforts of our staff, member-owners, local schools and communities across the state.”