Calendar sales to help support soldiers overseas

LOGANVILLE -- Pinups for Soldiers, a volunteer-led nonprofit organization, is producing its annual World War II-themed calendar to raise money in support of troops deployed overseas.

"It started as us doing a pinup photo shoot, because I'm a photographer, and it turned into a calendar that we sell to raise money to send care packages to (soldiers)," said Danielle Camp, Pinups for Soldiers vice president and co-founder. "We have up to 200 troops now that we are supporting in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Pinups for Soldiers was founded in 2010 by Camp and army wife Dena Stahl after Stahl's husband noticed few men in his unit received care packages on their three- and four-month tours.

"We were really saddened to hear that (some soldiers didn't receive care packages), and we really wanted to see what we could do to make a difference," Camp said. "I mean, just a little bit at a time."

When someone purchases a calendar for $15, Pinups for Soldiers allows them to give a calendar to a soldier for a discounted rate. The group also hosts fundraisers and events to raise money for care packages.

Camp and Stahl want to "show gratitude to the men and women who sacrifice their lives and freedoms to preserve ours each and every day." Camp believes soldiers are overlooked and sometimes forgotten.

"We just want to let them know that we care about them and that we appreciate their efforts and their sacrifices," Camp said.

Stahl and Camp send troops items such as beef jerky, Gold Bond, wet wipes, sudoku and crossword puzzles to help boost morale. The organization also supports a group of 25 men deployed without running water, where gold bond and wet wipes have become basic necessities.

Camp said the soldiers have been grateful so far. In return, they write letters and send photos.

"It shows that there are people who are supporting them," Camp said. "I can say there are occasions when I go to talk to people, there are people that don't support the war and I'm not asking, when we ask for support from people, for support of the war. I'm asking for support of the troops. Those guys and ladies are sacrificing possibly their lives and their family at the same time."

Pinups for Soldiers will have its 2012 calendars available in September, and will accept pre-orders in August. For more information, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.