Among them is the annual Soldiers’ Angels benefit at the National Guard Armory in downtown Douglasville led by Dianne Moore for the ninth year.
Moore and her organization grew an effort in 2005 to help a Douglas County soldier into one that sends basic personal care items each Christmas to 5,000 Georgia military service members annually. Now she is among the leaders of an effort to do the same thing for 60,000 U.S. soldiers worldwide — and it all begins July 4 in Douglasville.
“This is when we really launch the project in a big way,” Moore said.
A volunteer for nine years for Soldiers’ Angels, Moore recently was hired by the California-based charity as its director of volunteer services, leading about 100,000 volunteers nationwide in the annual effort to collect personal hygiene items, socks and other supplies to fill Christmas stockings for troops based in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The collection effort “revs up” July 4 on the grounds of the National Guard Armory on Church Street, along the parade route of the annual Douglasville Fourth of July Parade.
Moore said she was initially inspired by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, to do something to assist soldiers in the fight against terrorism.
“My father and my father-in-law were veterans,” she said. “They’re both deceased now. I wanted to honor their service.”
The Douglasville group began its efforts in 2005 by “adopting” one soldier deployed from the Douglasville armory overseas. That group has grown to 50 active volunteers and another 150 on an email list, Moore said.
Soldiers’ Angels also accepts monetary donations, which are used to “even up” stockings for 60,000 soldiers, she said.
She said such Douglas County businesses as Assured Comfort Heating and Air, and GreyStone Power Corp. are major donors to the effort.
The July 4 event at the armory will include sales of Chick-fil-A biscuits, Soldiers Angels T-shirts, and a performance by singer Jamie Saylor, brother of a Bremen soldier killed in Iraq in 2005.
Meanwhile, the parade is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with the theme, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Douglasville city spokeswoman Kellie Hunter.
The parade will step off at 10 a.m. at Rose Avenue and Church Street, run along Church Street, and end at Fairburn Road.
About 100 groups generally walk in the event, she said.