Two Cawood Elementary School fifth graders are working to make the holidays a bit brighter for our country’s veterans, military families and active duty service members at hospitals and military installations around the world.
Raegan Middleton and Bethany Cox, both 10, have been working to collect cards and artwork from fellow students to send to the American Red Cross for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
The girls needed a community service project for 4-H. Middleton’s uncle, Danny Soublo, who actually serves in the military but is not stationed overseas at present, after learning about Holiday Mail for our Heroes from her brother, Braden, and his Cub Scout Pack 149, they agreed to tackle the program themselves to support our military by “giving something that means something.”
The students distributed a flyer at school, and students had until yesterday to turn in their contributions toward the project. Several hundred cards and pieces of mail had already been turned in by 9 a.m. and the students had not gone room to room to make last minute collections.
Cox says the project was a bit “harder than we thought,” noting they had become concerned because most had waited until the last minute to participate.
Cox said she believes the “homemade cards” will mean more to the soldiers because of the special effort put forth by the contributor.
Middleton said the students were attempting to write notes of interest to the soldiers “to tell them what is going on here while they are away. The boys have been telling them about the ballgames and the national championships.”
The girls expressed their appreciation to their teacher, Teddy Stephens, for enabling them to make contact with the entire school.
The girls weren’t making shopping plans for today as they were preparing to package all the contributions for shipping on Monday because they have to arrive at their destination by Friday.
Middleton is the granddaughter of Darrell and Marilyn Middleton, of Cawood. Her parents are Shannon Lewis of Dalton, Ga., and Anthony Middleton, of Cawood.
Cox is the daughter of Mike and Gina Cox, of Catrons Creek.
Anyone who would like to mail their own cards of encouragement and holiday greetings may do so by sending them:
Holiday Mail for Heroes,
P.O. box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD, 20791-5456.
The deadline for cards to arrive is Dec. 7 in order to guarantee distribution prior to Christmas.