One local family is hoping to brighten soldiers’ holiday spirit through an “Adopt-A-Soldier” program.

Angel and David Lankford, Sullivan, have organized several drop off points to collect items for soldiers throughout the holiday season.

Drop-off locations include the Washington and Union American Legion halls; St. Clair American Legion and VFW halls, Cuba VFW Hall, Sullivan Eagles Hall and One Hot Salon at Flying J’s, Burger King in Villa Ridge and People’s Bank and First Community National Bank in Steelville.

Barrels will be at the locations through Nov. 10.

How It Began

Lankford and her husband began adopting a soldier a few years ago. Last year, the Sullivan Amateur Ham Radio Club joined and adopted one soldier.

Angel Lankford, who grew up in a military family, said she hopes to get enough donations to adopt a platoon, or about 30 men, adding that she hopes the program will continue to grow.

“I came from a military family,” Angel Lankford said. “My grandfather and brothers were in the military and I know how hard it was and for us to be without them and how hard it was for them to be without their families.”

The St. Clair American Legion has agreed to pay shipping for all of the donations, Lankford said.

Suggested donations include personal hygiene items, candy, cookies, food that travels well, stationery, envelopes, stamps, cards, games, blankets or even a letter of support.

A full list of items, including what cannot be sent, is available online at Those interested must join the group to see the information. For more information, people may email Lankford,