Community invited to write letters to deployed soldiers during Albion event on Nov. 18

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 12 November 2018 at 8:40 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Joseph P. Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Program coordinator has scheduled a special event to help make the holidays a little brighter for veterans who cannot be with their families.

Catherine Schmidt has contacted Adam Johnson, a local veteran and owner of 39 Problems at 43 North Main St. in Albion. Johnson has agreed to open his doors from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 18 for a project called “Letters From Home,” when the public is invited to stop in and write a card or letter to a serviceman.

Anybody who has served, or knows someone who has served overseas understands how much mail call means, especially during the holidays, Schmidt said.

“We need the public’s help,” she said. “Stop in for a few minutes or all afternoon and make one card or letter or dozens.”

The Peer-to-Peer Program will send the mail so they reach the servicemen and women before the holidays.

Catherine’s husband, Earl Schmidt, is director of Orleans Veterans’ Service Agency. He said cards shipped by Nov. 30 will reach servicemen oversees by Christmas.

Complimentary fountain drinks, coffee and cookies will be provided to all participants, sponsored by 39 Problems to say “thank you for supporting those who support us.”

People may bring their own cards, pens or crayons, but there will also be some on hand.

The Albion Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution have committed to writing 10 cards each, Earl said.

“By the way, younger letter writers and artists have a very special way of putting a smile on a veteran’s face half a world away, and we welcome them, too,” Mrs. Schmidt said.

There are also collection boxes for cards at the YMCA in Medina and at the Veterans’ Service Agency in Albion.

The Peer-to-Peer program is funded through a state grant, in which Schmidt’s office received $52,500. Some of the money was used during the summer to fund a picnic at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds for veterans and their families.

The next events to be funded by the grant will be a train ride Dec. 22 at Medina Railroad Museum and future trips to the Buffalo Naval Park and Seabees Memorial in North Tonawanda.

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