the summer of 2004, the basis for Christmas For OUR Troops (CFOT) was
formed. The founder, Scott Davis of
Texas met and befriended then USAF
Captain Steven Givler. The dedication and actions of Capt. Gilver
caused Scott to come up with the idea of doing something special for him
and his men for Christmas. Scott and some of his friends put
together five boxes of goodies to send to a couple of the troops in Iraq.
CFOT was born!
2005, a friend of Scott's daughter, 2nd Lt Brennan Speakes,
was sent to Iraq
to lead a 21 man platoon. Needless to say Scott's commitment
had to grow and it did. 2005
involved an expanded group of friends and the shipment was 23 boxes.
2006 Nick McClure (from Midland) was deployed to
and we saw the numbers jump to 248 boxes but only with significant
financial and volunteer help from our generous West
community. Included in these
boxes were dozens of Christmas cards drawn with love by hundreds of
West Texas children.
2007 we teamed with other like minded West Texas organizations to show
the troops that even though the press was daily denigrating their
efforts, we in West Texas appreciated them and applauded their
determination. In March we
put together a Troop Salute rally at our baseball stadium that over
4,000 people attended. Not
surprisingly, the national media did not cover it but OUR troops saw it
… live via satellite!!! As
Christmas approached we set our goal at 500 boxes.
We received donations from as far away as
Minnesota and had volunteers from as far away as
When it was all said and done, we sent 608 boxes and over 4,300
Christmas cards. We
estimated that nearly 6,000 people contributed to this success.
saw another fantastic year.
From our modest start, 5 boxes prepared by a similar cadre of friends,
in 2004, we grew to sending 1,228 boxes to OUR troops in
The addition of a large contingency of supporters from
as well as the involvement of the Greater Odessa Rotary Club made this
goal for 2009 was to send between 1200 and 1500 Christmas boxes to OUR
Troops. Due to the generosity and kindness of patriotic Americans we
were able to exceed our goal and sent 1938 boxes to
Each box contained not only gifts for the recipient, but included toys
that to share with the local children.
OUR Troops have requested toys for the indigenous children and
these requests speak volumes for the heart of OUR military.
2010 represented our biggest year ever. We sent 2556 boxes to OUR
Troops because hundreds of Americans here at home wanted to thank OUR
Troops. Children from Iowa, North Carolina, Kentucky, New Mexico, Florida and all across Texas made thousands of Christmas cards so
that each box contained their love and wishes for a Merry Christmas.
Generous individuals and companies provided goodies for our boxes
including 1” hand carved crosses, miniature Christmas stockings, RemOil
and the whole long list that filled each box. The boxes were said to be
“by far the best” that some of OUR Troops have received. What high
praise for the efforts of all our volunteers. 2010 saw us expand our
operations to include packing 500 boxes in Odessa, Big Spring became a
huge donation center and our new crew there reminded us of how folks
care about OUR Troops. Once more our volunteers showed their love for
OUR Troops and their dedication to insuring they know they have not been
forgotten and that the folks back home CARE!!!!
In 2011 CFOT found that in spite of a slow national
economy Americans remain firmly behind OUR Troops. We sent 2640 boxes of
Christmas cheer and had more volunteers than ever pitching in to make
sure our men and women serving in harm’s way knew the folks back home
had not forgotten about them. Odessa and Big Spring each had pack up
locations and packed 1000 boxes while the Midland gang packed 1640.
are many similar groups who are dedicated to making sure that the men
and women of our Armed Forces know and understand that their service is
not taken for granted and that every day of our lives possible through
As a result of the efforts of all our terrific
volunteers and donors 2012 was another resounding success. We packed
2600 boxes in less than 4 hours. A feat which in and of itself was
remarkable and only possible because of all the behind the scenes work
done by dozens of caring men and women devoted to insuring OUR Troops
know we care. As a result of these hard working folks Christmas FOR OUR
Troops has now sent a little happiness to 12,121 of OUR Troops. What a
testament to the American Spirit.
CHRISTMAS and GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS