The Lions Club project, Holiday Mail for Heroes finsihed up this week with close to 3,000 Christmas cards being collected. These cards are being boxed up at this moment and will be shipped to Pitney Bowes in Maryland to be scanned for safety. After the scan, they are distributed to our troops at home and overseas bases and hospitals. Although this is the Lions first year with this event, the Red Cross has been sponsoring this program for years.
The amount of cards that came from schoolchildren was what really made this project special for me. One second grade girl from Bedford Primary School said she was "so proud of our soldiers she wants to marry one." Cards came in from all over northeast Ohio and St. Joseph and Redwood schools represented well locally. The Girl Scouts from various troops were involved and we got a huge boost, as usual, from Boy Scout troop 338 who took on a huge amount of cards. The time and effort that all these kids put into these cards was staggering-it was obviously more than an assignment that they had to complete! The adult cards were equally artistic and some folks wrote out an entire letter in each of their cards-something that willo be very appreciated to a lonely soldier far from home and family this Christmas.
This program was supported in a big way by American Legion Post 211 in Avon Lake. They allowed the Lions to advertise the program, solicit donations, and of course they did a large amount of cards by their members and workers. The Holiday Mail program was a big success due to the help of the Legion and I hope people realize what a great group they are.
Next year we will be back with this program bigger, and better. We learned a few ways that we could improve the response to the program and we will make changes next year. Thanks to all those who took the time, gave the money, or just stopped by with their stories-it was all appreciated!