The USO celebrates a season of giving - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

The USO celebrates a season of giving

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The United Service Organization has been deemed America's way to support the troops since 1941.

It's a year around effort put on by this non-profit organization. The organization recognizes the void many servicemen are feeling this holiday season.

So, they've stepped in to help.

From a picture to a teddy bear, The United Service Organization on Gulf Coast aims to lift the spirits of military heroes through their season of giving.

"We'll also be sending home these cute little bears to children whose parents that are currently deployed and they say, 'My arms maybe short, but they reach around the world,'" said USO Center Director Felice Gillum.

Gillum said the teddy bears are just one of the many campaigns in the organization's month long season dedicated to airmen, sailors, soldiers, marines and their families.

The organization hopes to give back to the men and women who fight for our freedom.

The USO will also send care packages to troops overseas and continue their "United Through Reading Military Program."

Through that program they record parents reading bed time stories and then they send them to their children.

"So the children at home will get the opportunity to have those bedtime stories with their kids when they're away," said Gillum.

As much as the USO provides, Gillum said they wish they could do more.

"It takes a whole community to come together to support the troops and support the USOS."

A simple donation can provide a family meal, a care package, or a family picture that can ultimately bring a touch of home to US servicemen around the world.

The USO Gulf Coast serves an estimated 24,000 servicemen every year with their signature programs. For more information on how you can help click HERE.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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