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Pittsburgh-area teenager on mission to make Christmas special for service members

Teen on mission to make Christmas special for service members
Teen on mission to make Christmas special for service members 02:45

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh-area teenager is on a mission to make sure those serving in the military have a special Christmas. 

Head down Orchard Drive in Pleasant Hills and you cannot miss all the Arthrell family's Christmas lights and military display, which includes the USS George Washington. 

"It's 18 feet long," Collin Arthrell said. "The bushes are raising it up so it's like on water. You got the blue lights which resembles the water."

Behind the display is a story about 14-year-old Collin, who in 2018 started "Stockings 4 Sailors."

"I'm inspired by my brothers because I've looked up to them my whole childhood," he said. "It makes me feel warmth I can still have a connection to them."

His two brothers, Carson and Christian, both serve in the Navy. Carson is on the USS George Washington in Virginia. Come mid-December, the family will travel to Norfolk, Virginia, and deliver 3,000 stuffed stockings to service members onboard. 

"There's candy, a message from someone from a school, you got your phone chargers, toothpaste, toothbrush, loofa," the 14-year-old said.

Collin Arthrell showed KDKA-TV donated items sent by military families and people from across the country. 

"It's a giving holiday, so I think you should give to those who are doing a much-needed support for the country. Giving them something would boost their morale and help them out," he said. 

On Tuesday, Darla Losteter of Glassport stopped by to donate. 

"We have military in our family and we like to give them stuff at holidays too because they are not forgotten," she said.

Collin Arthrell is a young teenager with a big heart who is spreading kindness and a piece of Christmas for men and women serving in the Navy. He has this message for his brothers.

"I just love them," he said.

On Dec. 18, the family will hand out 3,000 stockings to service members on the USS George Washington. 

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