American troops serving around the world soon will receive Valentine’s Day greetings from students at Radez Elementary, thanks to a family’s suggestion, a third-grader’s initiative and the school community’s generosity.
It all started when Lilah Coons got off the school bus one day and was greeted by her aunt, who explained how she had read a short item in the newspaper about a program called “Hugs for Soldiers.”
Begun 12 years ago by a church in Duluth, Ga., “Hugs for Soldiers” sends care packages, cards and letters to deployed military members all across the globe.
Lilah brought the idea back to her teacher, Aimee Ullman, who thought it would be a great project for students throughout the school. Mrs. Ullman shared the idea with her colleagues.
“Of course, this being Radez, everyone got on board,” Mrs. Ullman said.
In all, students from 12 classes contributed cards. Pink and decorated with hearts, the cards include messages of gratitude and encouragement, from “Have a spectacular Valentine’s Day!” to “Thank you for your service.”
“Kids brought in pencils, markers, all kinds of things to decorate the cards,” Mrs. Ullman said. “It’s been great. We brainstormed a lot of ideas and spent a lot of time talking about why it’s important to do this and what our cards might say.”
The cards will be mailed to Georgia this week, in time to be shared around the world before Valentine’s Day.