Great (easy and free) way to help kids say “thanks”

Posted: Friday, November 12th, 2010


My boys are very lucky to know two of their great grandfathers – “Gramps” and “GP”.  Both men are remarkably active and healthy, both are prone to slipping my kids candy when I’m not looking, and both are veterans of WWII.  Luckily, they also have in common making it home from the war alive and uninjured.  But, like all service people, they each made sacrifices.  Both men missed the births of their first children (my dad and mother-in-law respectively) and had to wait until their kids were walking and talking before they got to know them.  Now that I’m a parent myself, I can only imagine how tortuous that must have been.

Yesterday, as Speed, Whiz, and I were enjoying Veterans Day off, we called our favorite vets.  Gramps got pretty emotional when he heard my boys call out “Thank you for serving our country Gramps” and I realized in that moment and that neither my children nor I say “Thank You” nearly enough.  Not to Gramps or GP, and certainly not to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who are missing their own children’s lives right now to keep our life as great as it is.

So I was very excited to learn about a program our friends at Pear Tree Greetings have just kicked off in cooperation with the wonderful folks at Operation Gratitude.  They’re offering FREE cards to teachers who are willing to have their students write thank you notes to our troops. The goal of the program (called “Send a note, share a smile”) is to encourage kids across America to write and send 75,000 thank you cards to our men and women in the military this holiday season.

Participation couldn’t be easier:

  1. Complete the card request form (teachers only). Again – there’s no charge!
  2. Wait for the cards to arrive (2-3 days).
  3. Help kids write letters on the cards, insert them in the enclosed envelope, and send the cards to Operation Gratitude (postage not included).
  4. Operation Gratitude will send the cards as part of a care package to a man or woman currently deployed overseas.

In the age of texting and emails, all of our kids could use a bit more practice writing letters by hand.  And who better to write to than a service person who won’t be home for the holidays this year?

This morning I sent a note to Speed and Whiz’s teachers offering to sign them up for the program, to help in the classroom on letter writing day, and to pitch in for the return postage when it’s time to send the letters in.  I hope you’ll join me in extending a similar offer to your kids’ teachers.  If we all work together, we should be able to help Pear Tree Greetings and Operation Gratitude reach their goal of sending 75,000 letters.  And that’s something we can all feel good about.

Have other great ideas for how to help your kids thank our country’s service men and women?  Please share them here!

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