AYDEN, N.C. (WNCT) – After a roof collapse, moving into storage units and an eviction, N.C. Support our Troops finally has a place to call its own.

The organization moved into the storage unit at the Cross and Crown Christian Bookstore in Ayden in June, and cut the ribbon on the facility on Tuesday.

“Today we can celebrate, but tomorrow we go back to work,” said Barbara Whitehead, the director of the nonprofit.

This new space has it all with places to stock their goodie bags, store all of their donations and stack their care packages ready to be sent out.

“We have a lot of space now,” said Laurie Howell, a volunteer. “We’ll have more room to work, more room for volunteers and a lot of room for donations.”

During their challenges, they never stopped their mission, but now the organization is excited to be all under one roof again, giving back to soldiers.

“Eastern North Carolina is within a two-hour drive from the largest military bases for five of our six branches of the military,” Whitehead said. “It’s easy for them to come, bring a vehicle and pick up an item, especially if they’re deploying.”

They’re now getting ready for their busiest time, Christmas.

“We can’t let our troops be forgotten at Christmas because that’s the hardest time to be away from home, family and food,” Whitehead said. “We need the Christmas donations to arrive and donations for postage.”

It’s an important mission because these packages are making a difference.

“I come here and pick up packages and go out to wherever they’re deployed to,” said Adam Facundo, a chaplain with the United States Army. “I really get to see the smiles on their faces and that joy when they benefit from these packages. It’s a blessing when you’re in a place that you’re not familiar with and it’s a little uncomfortable, to get some things that from home that bring home back to you.”

The organization is always looking for donations to further the mission, especially as they pack their Christmas packages. Below is a list of some needed items.

  • Personal hygiene items
  • Feminine products
  • Hard candy
  • Gum
  • Chocolate
  • Cookies, crackers
  • Corn nuts
  • Chocolate Candy
  • Candy Bars
  • Rice Krispy Treats
  • Slim Jims
  • Granola and other snack bars
  • Nuts other than peanuts in re-sealable containers
  • Dried fruits in re-sealable containers
  • Tins and packets of flavored coffee and cappuccino
  • Breath mints
  • Protein Bars
  • Protein Mixer Bottles/Shakers

Visit their website for a full list of items to donate.