Locals Sending Soldiers Holiday Love

Picture Perfect

Not all the area birds have flown south for the winter,as a beautiful Blue Jay was spotted in the backyard of Clintonville resident Tim Sweet this past weekend.                             Photo by Tim Sweet                                                                                                                

stephanie HINTZ| reporter

CLINTONVILLE – Six area women gathered together this past weekend, writing out heartfelt wishes to American soldiers who may enjoy receiving a little extra holiday love this year.

Local resident Christina Karcz organized the event and held it at the Marion Rec, as a centralized location where people could meet since the group was from  both Clintonville and Marion.

Karcz had been considering doing the service project earlier in the fall, but due to moving and a recent knee surgery was unable to organize it sooner.

She posted her event, Cards for Soldiers, on Facebook to advertise. She initially planned the event to get as many cards together through her family and friends, but the news has spread and others are coming forward and adding more cards to the pile.

This past Sat, Dec., 8 the ladies wrote out personalized, heartfelt cards to over 200 American soldiers in just a few hours’ time.

“I have had so many friends and family that have served in various branches of the military and I have listened to their stories,” said Karcz. “Sometimes the holidays are very hard for them.”

One of the women who attended, Michelle Witman, is a U.S. veteran who has served in the Army overseas.

At first she did not know how to address her peers, but then decided to remind the troops that their deployments are temporary ones.

“Sometimes when you’re there, it feels like forever,” said Witman. “It doesn’t feel like it’s a temporary moment in their lives at that time, and at the holidays it can be especially hard.”

In an effort to
gather as many cards as possible this week, a drop-off location has been set up at the Clintonville Chronicle.

Interested individuals and groups may bring in as many cards as they wish prior to 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 13.

Each card should include a hand-written, heartfelt message to an unknown American soldier and can be as long as the writer wishes.

They should be signed by the author’s first name only, organization or family name.

No addresses should be included as this is not an effort to set up a pen-pal experience, just to send holiday wishes to U.S. Troops.

The ladies have a goal to send out 500 cards this year and think that can be easily reached.

Karcz would like to make this an annual event that grows each year.

“As long as we have soldiers serving overseas, I want to do this,” said Karcz.

She maintained a humble demeanor throughout the event.

“I don’t want to be prideful,” Karcz said. “That’s not what this about.”

“I don’t think people realize how blessed we are to have our friends and family with us at the holidays,” said Karcz. “While we are enjoying the holidays with our loved ones, they don’t have theirs.”

Cards may be dropped off at the Clintonville Chronicle office this week during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) from the time of press until Friday., Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. after which the cards will be sent on to meet the mailing deadline.

“Try to make each one personal and special,” said Karcz. “Something that will brighten their day.”