Friday, May 29, 2015

Stocking Stuffers for Soldiers

Stocking Stuffers for Soldiers

Lord knows there is much to love about the Christmas Village of Philadelphia, the annual outdoor holiday market at LOVE Park that's modeled after traditional German Christmas markets. It opens Thanskgiving Day, runs through Christmas Eve and is studded with wooden stalls just like the ones that dot Germany's quaint villages. I'm a sucker for bratwursts and a gluhwine, stollen and spekulatius, so the food alone is worth several visits to 15th and JFK.

But even without the draw of hot mulled wine, I'd still stop by on Saturday, Nov. 24th, when the market will set up a drop-off location for donations to Liberty USO. The organization, which serves  Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is organizing "Operation Stocking Stuffers", a project that will send stockings filled with treats to troops deployed overseas during the holidays. The organization needs 1,000 packages of nuts or trial mix and 1,000 hard-candy packages.

For more info, call Liberty USO at 215-694-555. And if you're wondering why the organization deserves enthusiastic support, click here for a story I wrote two years ago, about how Liberty USO offers soldiers a luxe home away from home  - at the Philadelphia International Airport, of all places. These people are angels.

Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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