LEESBURG, Ga. -- Hundreds of American military members serving overseas are enjoying a brighter Christmas today because of the efforts of several groups in Lee County.
Coordinated by the Lee County Chamber of Commerce, the effort resulted in the shipping of about 2,000 packages to American soldiers.
Lisa Davis of the Lee chamber said her organization was asked to participate in an effort begun by other area chambers of commerce.
Lee Chamber CEO Winston Oxford and his staff agreed to participate, and the project gained tremendous traction in Lee County.
"It just grew throughout the county, at businesses, everywhere," Davis said. "We took it to the churches and had several schools participate. It was unbelievable, more than I had hoped for."
Davis said soldiers received a variety of items in their packages including books, magazines, snacks, candies, footballs, puzzles, sunscreen, batteries and games.
The chamber placed a card in each package letting the troops know that the care package came from the home county of baseball star Buster Posey, country music star Luke Bryan and American Idol winner Phillip Phillips.
Chamber officials asked local students to write a message on the cards. Some took the instructions even further, sending hand-written letters to the soldiers and providing photos and addresses in hopes of becoming pen pals.
The items were transported to Fort Benning for shipment to the troops overseas.
"This is a testament to the community, how everybody reached out above and beyond," Davis said. "I cannot think of a better cause."