When our brother, MAJ John Stich, an Army Critical Care Nurse, was deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in early 2003 he asked us, his family, to get involved. We started with a few yellow ribbons and pins and have not stopped making over 10,000 bows and pins of every size imaginable. With the donations from the bows and pins and with the help of friends, neighbors, schools and churches we have been able to ship over 38,000 packages and counting. John retired as a Lt. Colonel after 20 years of active duty in the United States Army. He resides in the Ellwood City area with his wife and family.

The Soldiers express in their letters how much the notes, supplies and treats from the home mean for their bodies, minds and morale. Our brother returned home safely from OIF, now he is in OEF. As the conditions for some of the troops slowly improve, they are asking us to help the children of the region who have been orphaned. Many have been abandoned at birth and will remain in the orphanages until fully grown. The need for humanitarian aid remains great.

In years past at the deployed troops request we supported the local schools and orphans with needed supplies. Currently we have no contact with either of these in any of the countries we are shipping to. Due to the current happenings in the world around us we not longer have contact with orphanages or schools in the countries where our troops are deployed. Often the troops ask for items to share with allied troops or locals working with our troops. We try to honor any requests.

This is where we need your help. Attached are lists of items needed most by our troops, the schools and orphanages in Iraq and Afghanistan. As you look over the lists, there are many items that you may have in your home or that are inexpensive but would truly make daily life easier for so many. Please collect a few items, write letters or make crafts for our Soldiers, then contact us. We will provide you with addresses or (if you are from our area) we will ship your donations with our monthly packages.

The Yellow Ribbon Girls are from western Pennsylvania, about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh. We started with one Soldier's request and have grown to support several hundred service men and women. As some return safely, others just start their deployment. It is only through the kindness of so many concerned citizens we are able to continue this project.

Thank you in advance for any and all help. Even though major combat is over, our troops struggle daily to survive. Their efforts barely make the news, but the attacks they suffer everyday are real. We must continue to pray for them, their mission and their families