Stockings stuffed for soldiers, vets

ELKHART — Billings Funeral Home is among hundreds of Veterans and Family Memorial Care providers across the nation participating in the 12th annual Christmas Stockings for Soldiers and Veterans initiative, an effort to send troops and local veterans a little taste of home for the holidays. 

Through Dec. 13, area residents can come to the funeral home to pick up a free Christmas stocking to take home, decorate and stuff with Christmas cheer. Participants will receive a list of recommended items along with the free stocking. Monetary donations also will be accepted.

Billings Funeral Home will either ship or deliver the stockings at their expense, to troops abroad and veterans here at home in time for Christmas.

“Providing our heroes with some good tidings and holiday cheer is a great way for us to show our support and appreciation for the sacrifices they make to keep our country safe and secure,” said Brad Billings, owner of Billings Funeral Home.

Participants may stop at the funeral home from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to pick up a free Christmas stocking. Billings Funeral Home is located at 812 Baldwin St.

Interurban Trolley sponsors food drive

ELKHART — The Interurban Trolley will sponsor its 14th annual “Can Do!” food drive, which will run for one week beginning Monday, Dec. 9, through Saturday, Dec. 14, to benefit The Window in Goshen and Faith Mission of Elkhart.

Containers will be placed on board each Trolley for the collection of nonperishable food items. This includes donations such as a box of cereal, canned vegetables or soup, and similar food items. Interurban Trolley riders who give a food donation when boarding will ride free for that bus trip. Since transfers are no longer offered, riders will need to give a food donation each time they board the Trolley.

The Interurban Trolley said it appreciates any food donated. Donations cannot be used to purchase day or other multiride passes. The “Can Do!” food drive is running only on Interurban Trolley Fixed-Route Service buses. This promotion is not valid for use with the Interurban Trolley Access Service or aboard Transpo buses that operate on the Interurban Trolley Yellow Line.

Transit information can be obtained by calling MACOG at 574-674-8894 or online at

Interra hosts annual blood drive

GOSHEN — As part of its annual Hometown Giving holiday service project, Interra Credit Union will host a blood drive in collaboration with the South Bend Medical Foundation. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the credit union’s main office in downtown Goshen. 

Pre-registration to donate blood is encouraged. Donors can sign up online at and input the sponsor code ‘InterraGoshen,’ or contact blood drive coordinator Sandy Boldt directly at 574-534-2506, Ext. 7345. Walk-ins for the blood drive will also be accepted.

“This is an especially important time of year for the blood drive, because donations seem to fall off during the busy holiday season,” Boldt said. 

All successful donors will receive a voucher for a free turkey. In addition, South Bend Medical Foundation will donate $10 for successful blood donation to Blue Star Mothers, an organization that supports active duty men and women, veterans and their families.

The blood drive will be held at the Interra corporation location, 300 W. Lincoln Ave.

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