Abbie South can’t imagine not spending Christmas or Thanksgiving with her family. Thinking of the soldiers who are overseas, the 8-year-old drew a picture of a Christmas tree with falling snow inside a card to remind them of what home is like.
South is one of about 600 children from the Clark-Shawnee Local School District who this week prepared a card for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program, sponsored by the Red Cross. Stock cards were provided for each student, who then wrote a personal message inside along with pictures.
“They’re going to have to stay there for Christmas, maybe fighting, or celebrating Christmas with other people there in the military,” South said.
Written in crayon and containing messages such as “come home soon,” and “do you like being a soldier?” it’s these personal messages military members treasure most, said Mike Larson, executive director of the Clark Champaign chapter of the American Red Cross.
“They have told me personally that they truly appreciate those handmade cards,” he said. “It’s a nice way to say thank you to our service members and military members anywhere in the world.”
Nikki Harper, the nurse at Reid School, said she got the district involved after a soldier on Veterans Day recalled “how important mail was” while deployed. Wanting to get involved, she came across the Red Cross campaign.
“It’s a great cause,” she said.
Joshua Atkins, a second-grader at Reid School, said a family friend is joining the Air Force, and he hopes he will receive a card like the ones he and his classmates made.
“I put a flag in mine,” he said. “The (soldiers) are going to feel happy when they get them.”
Millions are expected to participate in the nationwide letter-writing campaign. Anyone can submit a letter by mailing it to: Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD., 20791-5456. Submissions must be received by Dec. 6 in order to be delivered to military members.
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