One of the best things about waking up every day with the mission to Spread Goodness is that you get to meet other people who are spreading goodness too. Like Tina Loizzi, who has taken her joy and her fears and turned them into a mission of her own. Tina created Tina's Stockings For Soldiers, an organization that hand knits stockings (some are sewn and some are donated too) and then fills them with necessities and surprises to give to soldiers and their families at Scott Air Force Base.
We got a chance to speak with Tina about where this idea came from and why she works so hard every year to Spread Goodness during the holiday season. We were so inspired that we donated Green Goo to go in the stockings too. Thank you to everyone who works with Tina's Stockings For Soldiers for reminding us again how much goodness we can spread together.
Q&A with TINA LOIZZI ("Tina's Stockings For Soldiers")
Name: Tina Loizzi
Hometown: Carpentersville, Illinois
Season Of Goodness: Tina's Stockings For Soldiers
GREEN GOO: Please tell us when and how the idea for Tina's Stockings For Soldiers began?
TINA LOIZZI: My daughter went into the military four years ago (2019), and it was really hard on me. She is my first-born, she was only 18 at the time, so I just kind of came up with the idea, I guess in my depression. Knitting is something I can do and I just thought of knitting Christmas stockings to fill my time, and it kind of evolved from there.
GG: So each of the stockings are knitted or handmade by you specifically?
TL: No. Well, the first year, yes. I sent the first round of stockings to the base my daughter was stationed at, F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, and then it kind of grew bigger. Other people started helping me knit, I have some people who sew stockings. I also work with an organization near me that sells brand new Christmas stockings and they will sometimes donate the ones that are discontinued. So not only do I knit a large number of stockings each year, there is lots of support from other people and organizations locally as well. And each year, the number of stockings I’ve donated to the military has grown too.
GG: That leads to my next question: How many stockings do you donate each year?
TL: The first year, I donated 200 stockings. The following year, it was something like 300, then last year we gave away around 350. But this year, we just counted, and we have 495 stockings ready to go.
GG: That is amazing! Is there one specific military base you're donating to this year or is your giving spread out over multiple bases?
TL: All of the stockings this year are going to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. We donated to them last year as well, but our stockings are going to a different group of people this year. Some of them are in the National Guard, some of them are coming back from deployments. There's an organization there called the Family Readiness Center, and I’ve been working with a gentleman, a veteran who has donated his time there over the years, to make sure the stockings are given to those people who are most in need.
GG: Oh, great! So, when you're going about your planning, how do you determine which military base you select as the donation recipient year in and year out?
TL: Well, I try not to go too far from home. After giving to my daughter’s air force base the first year, I donated to the Great Lakes Naval Base that's here in Illinois the second year. And then last year, like I said, the stockings went to Scott Air Force Base, which is near Springfield. It's quite a way from where I live, but at least it's still in Illinois.
GG: How do you select the products that go into the stockings?
TL: A lot of stuff that we pack in the stockings is snack foods, toiletries, that sort of thing. I know from my daughter’s experience that once they're out of bootcamp, they have to pay for everything themselves. So that's kind of why we select products that might save them some money, even if it's just for a week. Plus, they'll have some fun foods to enjoy too. I've gotten everything from toothpaste and chips, to wallets and tuna fish. I mean, it's kind of an array of different items.
GG: And with regard to Green Goo specifically, can you tell me how you came across the brand or how you began communicating with Jodi Scott, our CEO and Co-founder, to participate in your program?
TL: I did a simple Google search on toiletry items, and that's how I originally came across Green Goo. Last year, Green Goo supported us with hand sanitizers and lip balms, so I reached out once again, and Jodi and the Green Goo team have been awesome.
GG: I don't know if Jodi mentioned this to you or not, but she comes from a military family herself, so I know that these sorts of endeavors are close to her heart. We’re genuinely honored to be participating once again this year. So, regarding your efforts, is there a way our followers can help support your annual giving? Do you have social media or a website where we can direct people in case anyone would like to donate products, monetary funds for shipping or materials, etc.?
GG: This is great! Thank you!
Ok, lastly, we’d like to ask you a question that’s not directly related to Tina’s Stockings For Soldiers: Favorite holiday food or dessert?
TL: Well, I come from a German background, so anything like dumplings, red cabbage. Actually, we're making schnitzel this year, so I'm pretty happy that my in-laws, although they're Italian, are more than happy to partake in our culture.
GG: Sounds delicious. Again, we appreciate your time, and we're so grateful to be a part of your holiday giving. What you’re doing is awesome!