A New Hampshire grandmother is making sure that 100,000 U.S. troops stationed around the world receive holiday cards this season. She calls it the “Holiday Cards for Our Military Challenge.”
Laura Landerman-Garber, who is also a full-time psychologist, is spearheading the project which collects handmade cards from volunteers nationwide. She started the tradition on Thanksgiving 16 years ago, telling her family that nobody eats until they write a letter to a service member. The right-of-passage to dinner is what she called the “ticket to turkey.”
“The thought of someone being away at a time when in our culture, in American culture particularly, the holidays are all about gathering together… for me, I wanted to be able to reach out and just maybe give a little bit of a bridge so that person who is far away feels a little tiny bit closer to home,” Landerman-Garber told CNN.
Landerman-Garber set a goal of sending 5,000 cards in 2018, but the enthusiastic volunteer response resulted in 50,000 being mailed. Her goal for 2019 was 25,000 cards, which has turned into receiving 100,000 cards from 32 states, as well as Guam and Canada.
Landerman-Garber recalled a moving statement from one letter: “Dear sailor, I’m very lonely. Are you lonely? But when somebody loves me, I feel better. How about if I love you?”
Find more information about being a part of the project at www.militaryholidaycardchallenge.com.