Community Spirit--USO and Southern Smiles - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/18/05

Community Spirit--USO and Southern Smiles

We know everyone wants to help the troops, but today we'll show you what a couple of organizations are doing going above and beyond the call of duty. And there are some things all of us can do to help them send our American heroes off to war with everything they need.

Hundreds of soldiers from Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield have been deploying to the Middle East in recent weeks, and many more will leave their loved ones soon. As you can imagine, it's been an emotional rollercoaster for the troops and their families.

But as they leave, two organizations--the USO and Southern Smiles--are making sure they take a little piece of home with them. Southern Smiles hands them bags filled with goodies and the USO is giving out bottles of water for their long flight.

"It's time to do it again, and the Savannah community has stepped up to the plate again and volunteered to help us get what we call goodie bags to the soldiers that are deploying," said Lynda Long with Southern Smiles.

Between the two organizations, they have handed out supplies to thousands of troops and they want to make sure no one leaves empty handed.

"It sends a good message to our military that we support what they're doing," said Ray Gaster with the USO.

"I just don't think that they'll ever realize how proud the people of this country are of them and what they're doing," added Dave Smith of Southern Smiles.

If you'd like to make a donation to the USO, contact them at (912) 303-9119, or by mail: USO Savannah, 340 Eisenhower Dr., Bldg 300 Ste A, Savannah, GA 31406, or email: usosavannah@bellsouth.net.

For Southern Smiles, send donations to: Southern Smiles, 304 Commercial Drive, Savannah, GA 31406, call
912.356.9981, ask for Van Robbins or Lynda Long, or visit www.southernsmiles.org.

You can also drop off water to several locations throughout the Coastal Empire and Low Country:

*All OC Welch dealerships in Savannah or in South Carolina

*Any of the Vaden Nissan dealerships

*Firestone Tire on Abercorn

*Any Gaster Lumber location

Questions or comments concerning WTOC Community Spirit should be directed to Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com.

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