You might remember a story we ran in August about the Holiday Cards 4 Our Military campaign, in which people from all over the Granite State – mostly students – filled out and sent well wishes to members of the U.S. armed forces. Last year the program led to some 17,000 cards (about 500 pounds worth) being shipped to the Navy’s USS Theodore Roosevelt in time for the holidays.
This year, the effort has expanded dramatically.
Laura Landerman-Garber of Hollis is the mind behind this project. It was a family tradition in her house growing up – they just sent cards to members of the military “just because,” she said, and because it felt like the right thing to do. Now that she’s an adult, she decided to try to get more people involved, and boy did she ever.
“The outpouring was crazy,” Landerman-Garber said of the first year of the program last year. “We got 17,000 cards in six weeks and I was blown away.”
Once she realized that this project was as popular as it was, she decided to reach higher. While the first batch of cards went to the Navy, she set a goal of accumulating 5,000 cards for each of the five branches of the military for this year. She ended up getting almost double that.
Landerman-Garber wanted to “spread the wealth beyond the Navy – 5,000 for the five branches. I have close to 40,000 cards, from the governor to preschoolers, U.S. senators – really exciting.”
What’s even more exciting is that Concord has stepped up big time in this initiative, particularly the SOCK Club at Concord High School, which works to “Save Our Cold Kids.”
“They found out about it last year, and they just handed me 1,000 cards,” Landerman-Garber said.
Sal’s Pizza on Storrs Street also played a big role. The pizza shop had a drop box where people could deposit their cards. Owner Brian Waters even donates pizzas to the homerooms that produce the most cards.
Landerman-Garber has a very big date with the post office this weekend – the 40,000 cards weigh about 1,000 pounds, and she’s been given an appointment to go in before they open (smart move). While it will be too late to get a card into this batch, it’s never too late to drop one off for next year’s delivery – just go by Sal’s and you’ll see the box by the front counter. To learn more, go on Facebook and find the Holiday Card Challenge group.