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Operation Give invites public to make troop stockings

Chief Wiggles is at it again, this time trying to bring Christmas stockings to troops in Afghanistan.

His group, Operation Give, has teamed up with Stars For Troops to put a personalized Christmas stocking in the hands of each of the 17,000 servicemen fighting in Afghanistan.

Chief Warrant Officer Paul Holton, a Utah National Guard soldier affectionately known as Chief Wiggles, organized stocking-stuffing parties today and Saturday to make sure the Christmas treats get overseas on time.

"If Santa's going to make it to Afghanistan, he needs to get started early," Holton said.

The public is invited to the party today at the Operation Give Warehouse at 1775 W. 1500 South from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturday, the party will move to Research Park at 650 Komas Drive in Salt Lake City from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Holton said personalized stockings should include a card or photo with your e-mail address. Troops are in need of personal toiletries such as lip balm, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, sunscreen, eye drops, shampoo and dental floss. Other appealing gifts include CDs and DVDs, clip-on lights, travel alarm clocks, playing cards and games.

Any food items included in the stocking should be non-perishable and packaged, such as chewing gum, granola bars or hard candy.

Stuffed stockings can be sent directly to Operation Give at 1775 W. 1500 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84104. Call Holton with questions at 801-259-6336.

Holton's Operation Give effort has delivered toys, educational and medical supples to children in Iraq and other war-torn and devastated areas.