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White Plains Doctor Sends Stockings to Troops

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - You might have some trouble walking into Dr. Bonnie Eilen’s living room this December.

That’s because as she and her husband Eric prepare to take part in Operation Support Our Troops by sending nearly a thousand Christmas stockings to soldiers overseas, their White Plains house is covered in boxes.

“I take a picture of it every day,” she joked. "Today I took home 300 more stockings in my car."

That holiday craziness is nothing new for Eilen, though. For nearly a decade, she and her community have taken part in Operation Support Our Troops by sending care packages filled with DVDs, dried fruit and magazines to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year, she helped send over 900 stockings.

"My family and I have been taping and packing boxes for 9 years now,” she added. She originally started packaging what she refers to as ‘morale boosters’ because she wanted to remind her daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Isaac that their family was thinking of them while they were serving their country.

“You feel helpless when you have a kid overseas,” she remembered.

Eilen has even gotten her coworkers at Westmed Medical Group involved in the cause.  For the holiday gift drive, she left empty stockings around the office for nurses, doctors and patients to fill and return back on their own time. She adds that in exchange for goodies, one of her fellow Westmed doctors rewards his neighbors with pizza pies at an annual block party he has each year around the holidays.

She says this method of contribution, which is more hands-on than sending a financial donation, is fun for participants and soldiers.

“Instead of asking for donations, people can take the stocking shopping and have a better time with it,” she said.

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