FAYETTEVILE — Quietly, children filed into the room that had been decked-out in Christmas decorations at Lake Rim Recreation Center, Oct. 23. All the children knew it was too early for Christmas decorations, but they waited patiently for their guest to explain this jump-start on the holiday season.

Crystal Glover, youth development and cultural arts coordinator with Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation, introduced herself to the children and asked them about their favorite holidays — the winner, of course, was Christmas.

As the children became excited simply imagining Christmas, Glover reminded them that not everyone will celebrate with their Families this year. This helped the children understand the goal of organizations like Soldiers’ Angels.

Soldiers’ Angels is a nonprofit organization committed to serving the nation’s heroes — United States Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardmen, their Families, and veterans. Soldiers’ Angels supports service members through care packages and hero “adoptions,” which are arranged through their website, www.soldiersangels.org.

This year, Soldiers’ Angels set a goal of sending 60,000 holiday packages to deployed servicemembers — a goal to which Glover wanted to contribute. She saw an opportunity to contribute to Soldiers’ Angels goal through creating a Christmas card making contest among the recreation centers.

Ten recreation centers in Cumberland County are competing to make the most Christmas cards for Soldiers’ Angels. The winning center will earn the Youth Development Trophy to showcase at their center until the end of the year, said Glover.