GALLIPOLIS — Local individuals collected roughly 1,000 letters and brought them to the American Red Cross post in Athens to be sent overseas to bring holiday cheer to American servicemen and women.
Retired U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Don Walker first announced the initiative at Gallia Academy Middle School on Nov. 11. Assisted by the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce and his wife, Associate Director Jennifer Walker, the chamber and Walker coalition set up collection stations for the letters at Washington Elementary in Gallipolis, the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce and Norris Northup Dodge.
Danny Kasler, Athens American Red Cross volunteer CFO, received letters from the coalition and will ensure the letters reach Columbus to be distributed to veterans before Dec. 4. The American Red Cross office Kasler serves with services Athens, Gallia, Meigs and Vinton counties. The nonprofit organization is always looking for donations to support disaster relief efforts.
“On Nov. 11, we announced that we would be collecting cards and letters to send to deployed troops who would not have the luxury of being home for the holidays this year,” said Jennifer Walker. “In two short weeks, we collected nearly 1,000 cards and letters. We will be doing this again next year as a way to thank and honor the brave men and women who serve our country. Sometimes the smallest gesture of appreciation can make a big impact on a service member’s morale. We hope that our contributions will touch their hearts and give them some encouragement while they are away from their families and friends.”
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.