USO of Jacksonville gets enough donations just in time for Thanksgiving

(Photo: Merrilee Moore)

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - Just yesterday, the USO of Jacksonville was scrambling to find Thanksgiving donations for service members, but now their shelves are packed with food items thanks to generous community members like you.

On Tuesday, the shelves at the USO of Jacksonville were practically empty. Today, that's no longer the case.

"The phones have been ringing off the hook, people have been walking in the door all day," Coastal Area Director Holly Coffer said.

Loads of donations have been pouring in, helping the USO of Jacksonville exceed their goal just in time for Thanksgiving.

"Enough pies to feed Napoleon's army," Chief Petty Officer Dustin Daniels with the US Coast Guard said of the number of desserts.

Joan Huffman drove all the way from Beulaville with $500 worth of food to donate to te USO.

"I appreciate our military," Huffman said. "I thank them for what they do and I was raised -- my sister and I were raised -- that if you can do something to help somebody, do it."

"We all went to the commissary this afternoon and bought about $700 worth of groceries," Officer Daniels said. "About 30 pies, couple cart loads full of milk, ham, a truck load full of canned goods, so a lot of food."

After news broke that the USO needed around 2,000 desserts, Magdalene Bamber decided she had to do something to help.

"We heard that they needed more desserts, so we were right down the street and we figured we'd just pick some stuff up and bring it by," Bamber said.

The USO of Jacksonville is now more than prepared to serve the nearly 2,000 service members expected to show up on Thanksgiving. USO workers said that the community of Onslow County and the surrounding areas never fail to deliver above and beyond.

"What we're hoping is that they actually get that home-cooked meal that they wouldn't get otherwise," Officer Daniels said. "A lot of them are away from home -- they won't get home to see their family, so this is their family away from home and that's what we're hoping they get."