Smith: Drop your socks at a police station

The astounding Mary St. Clair is at it again, rallying help for a major holiday care-package shipment to sons and daughters in uniform and in harm's way.

With the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, Mary hadn't mounted a package drive this year. But she received a chaplain's plea that Healdsburg SOS (Supporting Our Soldiers) reach out to 500 soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division who will spend Christmas in a remote outpost, and she's putting out the call.

She has arranged for police stations in Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park and Cotati to accept donations of a seasonal essential for troops — white crew socks.

After Halloween, we can also drop at the police stations our leftover trick-or-treat candy.

The folks at Healdsburg's Purls of Joy yarn shop are working to see that every soldier receives a knit cap. Contact the shop if you'd like to make one or two or more.

Mary intends to send also chewing gum, dried fruit, jerky, granola, nuts, hand-warmers, foot balm and Frisbees bearing original artwork and messages of support.

The socks being collected at police stations are hugely important to troops' comfort and well-being. For details on how else you can help, email Mary through healdsburgsos.org.

And make note of the great carton-packing event: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4 in the gym at St. John's Catholic School.

<strong>D.C. IS CLOSED</strong> but former Petaluma High classmates and '60s-era Marines Leonard Cohen and Jack Withington packed up Monday and flew there anyway.

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