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Store turns Christmas red, white and blue for troops, families at Camp Pendleton

FALLBROOK - For Joe DeRoest, it’s been an unusually long Christmas, but it’s also been one of the best of his life.

As is often the case with great Christmases, it’s been about giving; not getting. DeRoest, owner of Joe’s Hardware in Fallbrook, has raised thousands of dollars for the troops and their families at nearby Camp Pendleton.

“We started a ‘Red, White and Blue Christmas’ campaign on Veterans’ Day this year and will keep it going through Christmas Eve,” said DeRoest.

Beginning November 11, ten percent of every gift card sold at Joe’s Hardware is being donated by the store to the special campaign. In addition, customers are asked to buy stars that are then hung on the store’s Christmas tree. A white star is $1, a red star is $5, and a blue star is $10.

“Our customers have been very generous,” said DeRoest. “This is turning into one of the best Christmases of my life. We wanted to do something for our troops, so Tresa Klemple and some of our other employees brainstormed about it and came up with this idea.”

Last week the total hit the $3,000 mark. All the money raised will be given to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society to support local Marine and Naval personnel and their families.

“I’m so proud of our employees and customers,” he said. “It’s so heartwarming and exciting to be involved in something like this during the Christmas season. I feel fortunate to be in a position to contribute.”


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