Card drive for troops gets under way

September 18, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

KEEDYSVILLE - The cards, made from construction paper and colored with crayons, came from Edgewood Elementary School students.

Most say "Thank you," and others share no-longer secret wishes that the artists, too, could be in the United States military.

"I really like your outfits," reads one of the messages inside.

They are just a few of the estimated 30,000 holiday cards the South Washington County Military Support Group will collect and mail this year.

This is the fourth annual holiday card drive for the group. Last year, they sent more than 27,000 cards to 70 military members and their units, said group spokeswoman Lynn Jones.


That's 115 boxes filled with cards and other goodies mailed from a post office down the street from Jones' Keedysville home. The cards will be collected from Oct. 1 to Nov. 20.

"They make such a difference," she said.

The cards go to military men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jones' own children served in Iraq together for about one year. Her daughter left for another tour in Iraq supporting special forces in July.

Each box of cards can reach several hundred people, Jones said. The group gathers the name of a military member and his or her unit address. The box is sent to that person, who then shares the box with his or her unit.

Jones said she sent a box to her daughter one year, who plastered the cards on a wall so everyone could read them.

"That's how they touch the kids who don't get any mail," Jones said.

Jones calls the people who sign and give cards or offer names and addresses of their loved ones her "silent angels." The group also sends phone cards, holiday candy and other items with the boxes.

Jones said as time goes by and the war becomes more unpopular, people may not be as supportive of the troops as they were in the early days of the war in Iraq.

"No matter what your political opinion, that doesn't change the fact that (our troops) are still there," she said.

Jones said the military support group appreciates any monetary donations for mailing costs or the extra items.

How to help

Guidelines for sending the cards:

· Each card could be read by many service members.

· Cards may be homemade or store bought.

· No envelopes or postage.

· All cards and messages should be appropriate.

· Cards will be screened for security/sensitive issues.

· Do not send blank cards.

· May include messages of well wishes/support.

· May request a pen pal. Would need to provide your name and address.

· May make arrangements to have cards picked up, dropped off or mailed.

Holiday cards for military in Iraq and Afghanistan may be mailed to:

South Washington County Military Support Group
C/O Lynn Jones
P.O. Box 223
Keedysville, Md. 21756

For details or questions, call Jones at 301-432-4979 or e-mail her at

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