As American soldiers continue to fight the War on Terror, there are those here on American soil serving along with their fathers and mothers - the children of the armed forces.

In an effort to make Christmas a little brighter for the boys and girls who will be without their parents during the holiday season, the National Guard Family Readiness Group has organized a campaign to spread a little holiday cheer.

From now until Dec. 1, the group is collecting toys for boys and girls of all ages.

While the child of a serving soldier may want nothing more than a visit from mom and dad, Maria Daniels with the Family Readiness Group, said even the smallest gift can make a difference.

Daniels said donation boxes are waiting to be filled with joy and can be found at the Dollar Tree and Dollar General stores in Stephenville. She said gifts can also be dropped off at 7 Bar H Auto Ranch.

Santa will deliver the gifts to the children of members of the National Guard who are currently serving overseas, and also distribute gifts to kids whose parents are here at home.

“It is a way for local residents to show their thanks to the soldiers and their families,” Daniels said.

The National Guard will hold their annual Christmas party Dec. 6, where the gifts will be distributed.

“A lot of people do not understand that money is tight when one parent is out of the house serving their country,” Daniels said. “Things are tough when there is only one parent at home working and raising the kids. These men and women are making a sacrifice and their families sacrifice, too.”

Once the children of local soldiers have received their gifts, Daniels said remaining items will be delivered to other needy children here at home.

For more information on the toy drive or the Family Readiness Group, call Daniels at (254) 592-1456.