SAN ANGELO, Texas — Elks San Angelo are soliciting gifts from people in the San Angelo area for service members who can’t make it home to family on Christmas Day.

‘Home Away from Home’ is an annual event hosted by Elks San Angelo for members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base.

The organization is looking for donations of gift cards with a minimum value of $25, or new items that can be used as gender-appropriate or gender-neutral gifts for service members who attend the event. San Angelo Elks says cash is “always acceptable and will be used to purchase additional gifts.”

“For most of these young military members, they have just recently joined the military and are still adapting to a new way of life,” said a statement by San Angelo Elks. “This will be their first time they have been away from home for the Christmas holiday.”

Service members who attend the event will also be given a traditional Christmas meal and the Elks organization is looking for additional help with food and gifts. Dessert donations are “especially appreciated” because they can be taken back to the base to be shared or eaten later.

“This event is a wonderful opportunity for the San Angelo Community to show their appreciation for men and women serving at Goodfellow AFB,” said the Elks organization. “Let’s show them that San Angelo appreciates them.”

Gifts or food can be delivered to the Elks Lodge at 2121 S. Chadbourne by 6 pm on December 24th. The Elks lodge is open from 5-9 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.