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Welcome to KeystoneSoldiers.com
Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 09:57 PM MST

Who We Are

Mission Statement:


To provide caring support for deployed military members in all branches of service to our country no matter where they are stationed in the world. This is accomplished through letters, cards, care packages, and special holiday packages to raise their spirits and show them America has not forgotten them.
We are not about the politics, or the war...we are about taking care of our families, friends, and neighbors who are far from home. Everyone today knows someone who is deployed, was deployed or will be deployed. Our troops give us the freedom to be safe in our homes and they should be able to do their duty with at least some of the small comforts of home we enjoy every day.

Overview:


It is very easy to say we support our troops, it is another thing entirely to show you support them.
In early 2002 I found out my son's unit of the PAANG was going to be deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. It was a scary time, soon after 9/11 and all of the family members involved were concerned about their safety. I started a small website where freinds and family could keep in touch with their loved ones overseas and our soldiers could see that we were taking care of things at home. Soon other units from PA started asking if they could use the website too. By the time troops stared moving into Iraq in March of 2003 we were getting requests from lots of military families to join us and asking for some basic essential items to be shipped to our troops. There were no PXs or stores to buy things we have come to take for granted like toilet tissue, hand sanitizer and decent snacks. As the need grew our mission was expanded to find a way to get these items to those in need.

To date Keystone Soldiers has helped thousands of troops in service to our country, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but all over the world and yes, even in the USA. All our requests come directly from the troops, their families or someone who knows a soldier not receiving mail from home. We have provided love, support and encouragement to anyone who is in need. We do our best to make sure every soldier, sailor, marine and airman knows they are respected by many people back home. No request is ever turned away and while we may not always be able to send them video game systems, microwaves or coffee machines we still can usually meet their most pressing needs for basic comfort items and words of support from home.

We are a 100% volunteer non profit organization that ships every week as long as we have money for postage. We try to ship at least 50 boxes every week. At any given time we have between 1,200 and 6,000 names on our list waiting for packages to arrive. All our packages are custom made depending on the needs and requests of the troops, their area of deployment and items we have available. Every package also contains letters & cards from supporters, pictures drawn by school children and notes of encouragement. While we specialize in troops from PA our packages go to military members from every state and we have even sent assistance to units from England and Australia.

Through our organization and website you can show your support for our U.S. troops by becoming a volunteer, holding a fundraiser, collecting items on our list for packages, writing letters and cards to our troops or sponsoring a care package (or several!). You may also make a donation to help with postage or you can sponsor a special care package to one of our troops. There are opportunities available for anyone interested in helping no matter if you have a lot of money or very little. Just pick up the phone and call us or send an email with Volunteer in the subject line.

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Military Family Pantry Saturday Nov 2nd 10am to 1pm:

Site & Events News

  PLEASE SHARE:

  Our next Military Food Pantry is November 2nd from 10am to 1pm. Any military member or veteran can stop by and grab some food or other household needs. All we ask is for you show your military ID when you enter and you let us weigh your packages on the way out. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ID please have the FRG, FACS or unit contact us directly. We do not want to exclude unmarried couples for the sake of a card. As long as we have verification we will let you in to"shop". If you cannot make on the day of the pantry please call us to schedule an appointment for a time that works best for you. I also want to make it extremely clear that NO MEDIA are permitted entry during the pantry. There is absolutely no reason to make any of our families uncomfortable because they could use some help.

  The pantry is totally anonymous and we do not save names or share any information other than the total number of guests and the total weight of the donations given out. We do not contact the unit or FRG (unless you want us to). The privacy, security and safety of the troops and their families is our primary concern in everything we do. If anyone can help out during the pantry please call and we will put you on the schedule. Extra hands the Wednesday before and the day of the pantry are always welcome. In spite of the improving economy our military families are still struggling. Some families had 2 members furloughed in October and have not received any back pay yet. They will need some help until they can get financially stable again.

 Donations for the pantry may be dropped off during regular hours or by calling 610-698-2122 for an appointment. We are in need of peanut butter, jelly, basic pantry staples (sugar, salt, coffee...you get the idea), kids breakfast and lunch items, canned goods, cleaning supplies, box dinners, crackers, and anything shelf stable. We should be good on baby supplies for one more pantry. Anyone who would like to donate fresh bread, produce or dairy may drop off on the Saturday of the pantry. We do not have refrigeration to keep fresh food longer so any fresh items left will be taken to Berks Food Pantry or another group in need. If there are any questions please feel free to call 610-698-2122. You are welcome to leave a voice-mail and we will call you back as soon as possible.Please remember we are still 100% volunteer and most of the volunteers have jobs, kids, grandkids and lots of other things going on. It may take a day or two to get a reply but we will call you back. Thanks for your understanding.


Kyle “LordzMom” Lord

Director, Keystone Soldiers

130 Redners Way

Leesport, PA 19533


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Military Family Pantry Saturday Oct 19th 10am to 1pm:

Site & Events NewsOur pantry is restocked and is open Saturday from 9am to 1pm. Be sure if you need help you get there. All military families are welcome and there is no charge to "shop". All we need is to see your military ID. We have diapers, baby food, tons of soup, tuna, sugar, flour, coffee and all kinds of nonperishable foods. Many, many thanks to Keystone Wounded Warriors and The Carpenter House for their support and assistance restocking our shelves.

FRG leaders** If you know they need help and can't/won't show up maybe you want to come grab some stuff for them and you can deliver it. I know how proud some families are.
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Press Release: Stockings for Soldiers 2013

Site & Events News

Press Release from BLUE RIDGE COMMUNICATIONS Ephrata, PA

Sept 12, 2013

 We owe today’s U.S. service members a debt that can never be repaid. Just think of the men and women serving in Afghanistan, Kuwait and around the world. They are making tremendous sacrifices to serve our nation and keep America free.

 As holiday schedules get busy in the coming days and weeks, please don’t forget those who have given so much. Now in our 4th year of giving, Blue Ridge Communications invites you to share in adding some of the warmth of the yuletide season with Keystone Soldiers and their Stocking for Soldiers program, by sending much needed and requested food and hygiene items and Christmas cards to our men and women stationed and spending Christmas away from home in such countries as: Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

 In its 11th year of operation, The Stockings for Soldier program is 100% funded by public donations. Since the recession, the donations have diminished. As a result, they sometimes have items to ship, but no money to ship them, or they have the funds, but not donations. Here is where we can help! This year we want to stuff Christmas stockings with much needed items, to be sent to our soldiers just in time for Christmas.

 We would love to support our soldiers near and far. Please join us in recognizing and thanking our defenders of freedom. All Blue Ridge offices will be a collection site for items.  After items are collected, please send them to Julianne at the 3rd Street office.  Deadline to receive items is November 18, 2013. Items collected at the Newberry/Duncannon offices will be sent to Cindy at the Ephrata office collection site. Ephrata’s deadline is November 20; as the bulk of the items will be picked up at this location and taken to the processing center on November 25, 2103.

  It is requested that we please pack and ship the food items separately from the other items and keep money separate from items.

Please include Christmas cards and photos of your office staff and collection…we will send them along to the soldiers as well. 

Christmas Wish List for Care Packages:

This list is current and updated on Sept 10, 2013. Our packages go to all branches of the military and to locations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea and any other troops who request support from home.

 All items are sorted and packed according to the requests we get directly from the troops or their families. Since we are gearing up for the holiday season we have added the special holiday items to our list.  


  • Christmas Stockings - 12" to 20" in size, handmade or purchased
  • Christmas hats  like elf hats and reindeer antlers
  • Paper or plastic Christmas decorations - no glass ornaments or lights please
  • Ground or instant Coffee and hot tea. Coffee creamer and sugar packets too!
  • *Power Bars, cereal bars, trail mix, granola bars and healthy snacks
  • Slim Jims, Beef or Turkey Jerky
  • Sunflower Seeds & Nuts
  • *Individual snacks like crackers, cookies, cheese/cracker kits
  • *Peanut Butter & Jelly – small size plastic jars please
  • Candy canes
  • Small sewing kits and manicure kits
  • *Toothbrushes and small toothpaste
  • Chap Stick with sunscreen, Blistex                                              
  • Deodorant - travel size
  • *Foot Powder and foot cream for athlete's foot
  • Odor Eaters (for boots), Dr. Scholl's foot pads, blister pads
  • Hand Sanitizer - small size bottles to carry with them
  • Mens’ and Ladies’ calf high socks or boot socks in black or white.
  • Hand and foot warmers
  • Thermal gloves or glove liners
  • New or used game systems like PS3, PS2, WII, Xbox or Xbox 360
  • Video games for the systems above or small hand-held games
  • *CDs and DVDs - New or used are fine. Current releases are appreciated
  • *AT&T Global Pre-Paid Calling Cards (available at www.aafes.com)

* = Items most needed or requested by the troops! 

****Monetary donations are needed to help us ship the care packages.

**Please note: 1) The U.S. Postal Service regulations do not allow anything in aerosol cans to be shipped. 2) Shipping currently takes about 14-21 days to the combat zones. It takes us about a week to get everything sorted and boxed. Please keep this in mind when you are checking expiration dates on food items. 3) We are currently not accepting any books.

We appreciate your support for our troops and for Keystone Soldiers!  Kyle Lord, Founder of Keystone Soldiers (after our previous collection) stated, “I would like to thank the Pencor family for their amazing efforts for Keystone Soldiers and for our troops. We have never worked with a group of people who embraced our project with such commitment and vigor. It has been a wonderful experience and is appreciated from the bottom of my heart. This project would not have happened without your support. The employees and donors at Blue Ridge Communications were very special standouts over the holiday season. Their enthusiasm and dedication to our project was unparalleled. They raised over $3,000 for shipping, collected 2,700 lbs. of items for stuffing the stockings, and collected over 2,000 cards! Thank you!

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Website update & Program Announcement

Site & Events NewsOur website will be forwarded to our Facebook page SOON! We are updating our software for added security and features. The unfortunate side to the change is that everyone will have to re-register on the new site. With all the latest changes in the software and the added security our older database will not be able to transfer. The upside will be the extra features. You will be able to login on the new site with your FB account or Twitter account. There will be personal photo albums and calendars, public & private message boards, public & private chat rooms and private groups. This will allow FRG leaders or deployed units to share info with selected members of their group without having anything posted for the public. This helps retain OPSEC regulations for the safety and privacy of the troops and their families &friends. There will be lots more to do and we hope to have some of our members contribute articles and personal experiences with our readers. If anyone is interested in being a regular (weekly or monthly) writer for the site please send us an email so we can get you started.

Get ready for the holidays! Our annual Stockings for Soldiers campaign will be starting any day now. The updated item list and instructions for getting things to us will be published here and on our Facebook page.

So there you have it. Lots going on at Keystone Soldiers. Any and all volunteers are welcome no matter if you can only spend 1 hour or stay for the whole day. We will be having quite a few fundraising events that we will need help with so call now and get on the list!
Thanks for your continued support for our troops and for Keystone Soldiers!
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Schedule Update & Volunteer Call!

Site & Events News***Don't forget....We will be at the Berkshire Mall Bon-Ton store on Wednesday 2/13 from 10am to 2pm with our Have a Heart for a Hero campaign. Stop by and purchase your coupon book for just $5.00. The event is scheduled for March 1st & 2nd and the coupons are worth over $400. All proceeds are used to ship care packages to our troops, assist military families in crisis and aide our veterans who could use a helping hand. Come on over and sign a Valentine, pick up your coupon books or just make a donation! Your support means the world to our troops and our volunteers!

Even though the draw-down is beginning it will take 2 full years for the mission in Afghanistan to end or be changed to a peace keeping mission. Every penny of your donations is needed to keep up the spirits of those working so hard so far from home. Care packages and letters are not only important for their health and well being but for their spirits too. Please keep our troops in mind....until every single one is home with their loving families.

 We still need some extra volunteers for Fri 3/1 and Sat 3/2 to help us sell books during Community Days. Hours Fri are 9am to 4pm and Sat are 7am to 3pm. If you are available to help even an hour or 2 please send a FB message or email. Thanks!!


Thanks for your continued support! 
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Schedule Update 2/2

Site & Events News****As much as we hate to have to close today (2/2/13) the temp is 14 degrees so we are forced to keep the doors shut. We cannot plan on being open unless the temperature gets to 32 or higher. We hope to be open on Wed & Thurs this coming week to make up for some lost time. ****

 In the meantime you are welcome to work on your Hearts for our Heros until you can drop them off at the warehouse or our selling time in Bon Ton on Wed 2/13/13 from 10am to 2pm. If you would like to make a donation for shipping the links are on the right hand side of the page near the top for Paypal or our downloadable Word document. You can also donate by purchasing your Bon Ton coupon books via the link at the top of the home page. All donations from this promotion go directly to our organization.

 Thanks for your continued support!
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Schedule Updates for January

Site & Events News***Attention all volunteers*** Considering the current weather reports and the temp today of 16 at my house we are going to have to remain closed until next Wed at the earliest. Since there is no real heat in the warehouse we cannot possibly work in temps below 15 degrees tomorrow. There is also a snow storm arriving on Fri so I am not counting on the roads being great for travel on Sat. Temps are predicted to warm up to near 40 early next week so I hope we can open on Wed at 10am.

I am working on some things from home and if anyone has a donation to drop off I will gladly schedule a special appointment for you. Call our office phone and leave a voicemail and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

As soon as the weather breaks a little and we can tolerate the temps we have plenty of work to do. We have to get our area condensed down as much as possible so we do not cost our generous donor of space any extra money. We also have lots of packages to get shipped. Requests for hot foods, hand and foot warmers and blankets are still coming in daily.

Bon Ton coupon books are available online or from any Keystone Soldiers volunteer. Each book is $5.00 and all proceeds go directly to care packages for the troops and emergency food for local military families. Every 3 books sold covers the cost of shipping a package to the troops and every 10 books covers the cost of several bags of food or fuel for a military family struggling in this tough economy. We hope you will open your heart and your wallet to support those who protect us every day. Click here to order online. We get full $5.00 credit if you order through this link and shipping is free.

http://bit.ly/TcMAkm

Thanks for your continued support!

~Lordzmom
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Volunteer and Donor Appreciation party

Site & Events News***Volunteer and Donor Appreciation party***

 Wednesday 12/18 from 10am to 1pm at our Leesport warehouse
! I want to say thanks the only way you people let me.....with food! Coffee, hot chocolate, cookies and pastries. It is only a small token of the appreciation I feel for all of you. Whether you spent an hour or a hundred hours helping, or donated $5.00 or $500.00 I am truly thankful for each and every one of you! 

 To all the troops who cannot be with loved ones this Christmas: I hope we have been able to show you that the people at home have not forgotten you. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily. It is our Christmas wish that you all be home soon with your family and friends that are counting the days.

 **We will close at 1pm on Wednesday and reopen on January 9th, 2013 at 10am.** This is recovery time for the core volunteers who have worked so many extra hours the last 3 months getting everything ready to make the Christmas holiday brighter for our troops. I hope each and every one of you enjoys a blessed holiday season and some time with your family and friends. You have been a blessing throughout the year and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!
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Special Hours for the holiday packing

Site & Events NewsKeystone Soldiers will be at the Leesport warehouse Tues, Wed, Thurs & Sat this week. Doors will open at 9 am and we will work until at least 2 pm. Time is getting short to get the packages in the mail and we have received several thousand pounds of donations to be sorted and prepped for packing in the Christmas stockings. Anyone who wants to help and can spare a couple hours we sure could use the
extra hands. If you can't stand/lift/pack we can still use help to screen the over 3500 cards we received today! There is plenty of work for everyone who wants to join in the fun and community spirit AND help our troops have a merry Christmas.

The address is 130 Redners Way, Leesport, PA 19533. We share the building with Crossroads Church, TK's Toy Box & O'Brien Moving & Storage. There is plenty of parking. It is a warehouse so please dress accordingly. If it is cold outside it will be chilly inside. Also be sure to wear closed toe shoes like sneakers or boots. If we work 5 hours or more we will have pizza or sandwiches for lunch. You are welcome to pack lunch if you prefer. We will have coffee, soda, water and Gatorade available all day.

You do not have to stay the entire time. If you can only get there at noon that is fine. If you have to leave to pick up kids or have other appointments it is not a problem. Even an hour or two is a huge help and will be appreciated. **Thank you Brad for stopping by to help on Thurs 12/6! We hope to see some of the Reading Derby Girls there soon! ***

If you cannot come help please share this post with your friends. They are welcome too! Any questions of for directions please email keystonemilitary@yahoo.com or call 610-698-2122.
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Welcome and a request

Site & Events NewsWelcome to all our new followers! We are thrilled to have you checking in and following the progress of the Christmas Stockings for Soldiers.

I know many of you are military wives, moms and other family members. Thank you for your service as well as the service of your loved ones. If we do not have the mailing address for your soldier, sailor, marine or airman please email us so we can get their
holiday surprises in the mail! You can also send a Facebook message if you like.

Shipping starts this coming week and we really could use some extra volunteers. Mon & Tues we will be working 9 am to 2 pm and Wed we are 9 am to 1 pm. We will resume on Saturday (no, I am not leaving the house Black Friday!) at 9 am and work till 2 or 3 pm. We need people to sort, check expiration dates, put items in ziplocs, stuff stockings and box for shipping! We could also use a couple people to screen some of the 20,000+ cards & letters we have to add to the stockings and to bundle blank cards for shipping to the troops. After all they do not have a mall handy to go get cards!



Thanks for your help & support!
~Lordzmom 

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