Deployed soldier writes message to local student after receiving Christmas stocking


When six-year-old Bentlee put together a stocking for a soldier overseas, he just thought he was doing something nice with his classmates; however, when that soldier wrote back to Bentlee, he learned just how far a little bit of kindness can go.

Andrew Carlton wrote on the Sand Hill Elementary School Facebook page, “I received a very special Christmas card from Bentlee who is six years old and in the first grade. You made my Christmas overseas easier with your kind words on this Christmas card.”

Now, that post has been shared nearly 400 times, but Bentlee was just excited to hear from his soldier.

“We put cookies in his stocking, and he said he really likes cookies” said Bentlee.

Bentlee and his classmates at Sand Hill Elementary put together about 17 stockings to be shipped overseas with Boatsie’s Boxes, a local non-profit organization that sends needed goods to deployed soldiers. Operation Christmas Stocking is just one of their projects.

“Everybody gets very excited about Operation Christmas Stocking. It’s a fun thing. It involves the community. It makes everybody feel good. The most important thing, it’s supporting our men and women who are deployed,” said Boatsie, the organization’s founder.

Boatsie says this year, they shipped out about 9,000 stockings to deployed soldiers.

Boatsie said just like Bentlee, soldiers sometimes write back to their stocking-stuffer and express how grateful they are for a little kindness during the holidays.

“When it does happen, it’s thrilling. Naturally, when the little child gives a gift, they want to hear back. They get a letter and picture of the soldier that they sent the stocking to. It’s just thrilling,” said Boatsie.

In his message, Carlton said, “As you grow up, you’ll find that words are very powerful. You’ll also understand that family is the most important,” and,”I hope you get everything you want for Christmas.”

If you’d like more information on Boatsie’s Boxes, you can visit their website at or give Boatsie herself a call at 304-232-5277.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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