Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Difference One Card Can Make

Photo: Syncere Zakee

By Bridgette Nugent, Regional Caseworker, Service Programs, American Red Cross

At a National Grid Holiday Mail for Heroes card-making event in Brooklyn this November, one of six the company hosted for their employees on Long Island and in NYC, one employee was particularly enthusiastic, actively encouraging his colleagues to write cards.

Upon further discussion with him, this employee revealed to me that, as a Marine Corps veteran, he received many holiday cards from the annual Red Cross campaign. Although all were appreciated, he spoke of one he still holds onto today.

This veteran, on his fourth and final deployment in the Middle East, was spending the holidays away from home for the first time. Having a difficult time of it, his morale was quite low. 

That's when he received a card through Holiday Mail for Heroes, made by a grade-school student. On this card, there was a drawing of a little girl holding a soldier’s hand, and it stated, simply “Thank you for protecting me.”

The veteran still keeps this card as a reminder of his service, and I feel it very powerfully demonstrates the importance of this initiative, and the impact even one small note or holiday card can have.

To all who have written cards this year or in years past, thank you!  

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