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Volunteers write 1,000 Christmas cards for soldiers

Photos by Tom Rivers: Pam Allen and her daughter Savannah left messages in these cards that will be sent to soldiers on a Naval ship.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 November 2018 at 2:10 pm

ALBION — The call went out for volunteers to send Christmas cards to soldiers overseas. Catherine Schmidt wasn’t sure what kind of response she would get.

On Sunday afternoon, about 40 people filled out about 1,000 cards. Schmidt had 500 with her, and needed to get more.

She said a card with a hand-written message goes a long way in making soldiers feel appreciated while they are deployed far away from family.

“It lifts the spirits of soldiers who can’t come home,” she said on Sunday at 39 Problems, an Albion restaurant and bar that hosted the card-signing.

Schmidt is the volunteer coordinator of the recently started PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer-to-Peer program in Orleans County. The program aims to connect veterans to services and social events.

She set a goal of 900 cards. That is how many are deployed on the Naval ship. The additional cards will likely to sent to other soldiers.

This group was among the volunteers sending cards to soldiers on Sunday. They include, from left: Fred Heschke, Jim Freas, Adam Johnson, Steve Johnson, Catherine Schmidt, Lurando Mata, Earl Schmidt and Lisa Mannella.

The volunteers added artwork, jokes and messages from the heart in their cards, Schmidt said.

Cards will be accepted until Nov. 30 and can be dropped off at the YMCA in Medina or the Orleans County Veterans Service agency on Route 31 in Albion.

Pam and Savannah Allen were happy to spend a couple hours on Sunday writing cards with a personal message for veterans deployed overseas.

Savannah Allen thanks a veteran in her message in the card.

Erica Miller, back right, brought her children and a friend to write messages to soldiers. Myleigh Miller is at right and her brother Garrett is in back. Zoe Cusson joined the family for the event. Zoe decorated her cards with reindeer and Myleigh added jokes to her messages.

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