Congressman Poe Kicks-Off Annual Military Christmas Card Drive
by Ted Poe on October 8, 2012 at 9:14 AM
Football is back, and that means the holidays will be here before we know it. As our families start to prepare and get excited, it’s easy to forget that many families will have an empty chair at the dinner table this year. At each table, they hold a spot for their loved one who is serving our country overseas in our military. As we put up decorations and send Christmas cards to our friends, we should take time to wish the brave men and women in our military a Merry Christmas as well.
Every year, I hold an annual military Christmas card drive and collect holiday greetings to send out to all branches of the military that serve overseas. Last year, with the help of local schools and organizations – especially Rikki Wheeler at the Baytown Chamber of Commerce, Ross Sterling High School, Horace Mann Junior High, and Highlands Elementary – my office collected more than 18,000 holiday cards for our troops. What a great way to show 18,000 soldiers that we’re thinking of them.
I started the Christmas Card drive a few years ago, and I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the reactions of warriors as they opened their handmade cards. On a flight from Texas to Germany (with ultimate destination to Iraq), I took two suitcases full of 6,000 handmade cards from third, fourth, and fifth graders in our district. About halfway through the flight, I opened one of the bags and began reading some of the cards. A curious neighbor on the plane asked me what I was doing, so I shared a few with him. Before I knew it, the whole plane was reading them. There were a few tears shed down the aisles. And, it was a great testament to how grateful we are as a nation for our service-members and the sacrifices they make.
I brought those cards to Landstuhl Military Base in Germany, where wounded warriors from Afghanistan and Iraq went to get care. It was one of the most heartwarming experiences of my life. I watched the smiles, tears and reactions as the warriors read the uplifting words and creative artwork from kids and their families in our district.
This year’s Christmas card drive kicked off on October 1. Please encourage your family members, Church groups, and other local organizations to participate. If you decide to participate, please be sure to address the card to “Dear Service Member” and deliver the card before December 1, 2012 to either:
Western District Office
1801 Kingwood, Dr., Ste. 240
Kingwood, Texas 77339
Eastern District Office
505 Orleans Street, Ste. 100
Beaumont, Texas 77701
All handmade cards must be received before December 1, 2012. Cards may include name/age/grade/school/city and state, with no personal address or phone number added.
The holidays will be here before you know it. Please consider participating this year and encourage others to do the same.