Saint Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church Brightens Christmas for Deployed Marines

Christmas for Deployed Marines 2009

Harrods Creek, Kentucky; December 16, 2009:  Members of the Saint Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church, gathered together in the Christmas spirit to remember those who will not be with loved ones this year. Under the leadership of Pete Laventis, church members packaged and mailed 296 Christmas gift boxes to three different Marine Corps units deployed in Afghanistan. Since 2005 this church has mailed over 2000 boxes to military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The contents of the gift boxes were purchased from donations raised by Saint Francis in the Fields parishioners and consisted of various consumable food items, playing cards, and reading material, to include bibles donated by the American Bible Society. In addition, many church members wrote individual personal letters to the Marines. These letters were included in those boxes designated for specific Marines. Reverend Robin Jennings, Rector, Saint Francis in The Fields, has an affinity for the Marine Corps, as his son, Robert, is a former Marine officer, who served four separate combat tours in Iraq. This gift box program is now an annual event, having originated in 2005 as an outreach project to boost the morale of troops serving under austere conditions. The MCCCK salutes the efforts of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church and thanks Pete Laventis and all its members for caring about our military personnel who voluntarily put themselves in harm's way for our security and well being. (Additional photos in "Galleries" section courtesy of Bob Quaife, St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church)