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Every three months I am one of many members of the Daughters of the American Revolution who has the pleasure and honor of meeting and celebrating the induction of newly minted American citizens by hosting a tea party following their naturalization ceremony at the U.S. District Courthouse in downtown Missoula. Ceremonies like this with similar tea parties take place around the United States throughout the year, but all are equally inspiring and your coverage of it, once again, was spot on. Thank you.

An important reason why all of us have our freedoms are the men and women who serve or have served in the military, so each Christmas and Hanukkah season veterans and veteran helpers turn into magical elves and deliver Santa Socks to fellow veterans around Missoula and Ravalli counties to thank them for their service and spread some cheer by delivering Santa Socks filled with treats and love notes to active-duty military and veterans around our area through Christmas Day and beyond. This year the goal is to collect 1,000 pairs of new crew socks of all colors.

Helping us in this mission is Cabela’s on Brooks Street and The Peak Health and Wellness Centers in three locations that have collection bins in their lobbies for pairs of socks. If you buy socks at Cabela’s through Nov. 30, Cabela’s will donate a pair of socks for each pair of socks purchased for Santa Socks if you do this at their store. Also helping in our efforts are Walmart on Mullan Road, Wraps for Vets, Martha’s Ministries, Target, Costco, Lowe's, Home Depot, Culver's Foreign Car Service, Carlos One Night Stand costume store, First Security Bank, First Interstate Bank, Bretz RV and Marine, VFW Post 209 and Auxiliary, United States of Hope, many hotels in the area and individuals. School children from Russell Elementary and Washington Middle School are making holiday cards that will be delivered with each Santa Sock.

Santa Socks will be delivered by magical elves starting Dec. 13 through mid-January but magical elves are needed, so email the North Pole and ask for Santa Baby at bluemountain@montana.com. We go to facilities but also private homes.

If we collect additional Santa Socks we will ship them to our troops overseas and add other items as part of care packages to make their Christmas and Hanukkah extra special, packed with cute cards from school children and area adults who have done "love notes." We have a team of wonderful people behind this effort that makes my heart sing. After this effort is over, you will hear about everyone who has made this holiday effort possible.

If you know of a veteran who needs a Santa Sock delivery, please email the veteran’s name and address or call Santa at (719) 661-4037. All ages of veterans, active-duty or retired, are perfect.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

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Susan Campbell Reneau, AKA Santa Baby, helps organize the annual Santa Socks drive.

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