By Senator Patty Ritchie
The holidays, for most are the happiest time of the year.
However, they can be a challenge for those who are away from home serving their country and the families of those who are members of the United States Armed Forces.
In an effort to say “thank you” to all who serve their country and let them know we are thinking of them throughout this special time of year, I will again be partnering with Ogdensburg native and radio personality Melody Burns in asking people to send yuletide greetings to soldiers through “Christmas Cards for Our Troops.”
The initiative – which is being organized through Albany’s Veterans Miracle Center – collects personally signed Christmas cards to distribute to members of the military who are deployed, veterans’ hospitals and army installations to let them know they are appreciated during this special time of the year.
Throughout the years, I’ve been proud to see so many people from throughout Central and Northern New York join with me to send tens of thousands of greetings to soldiers during the holidays.
This year’s goal is 200,000 cards, and I am hoping that once again we can all join the spirit of the Christmas season and spread cheer to the brave men and women who have given so much for our nation.
Those interested in donating cards must follow the guidelines below:
Do not include envelopes;
Do not include personal letters, photos or inserts of any kind;
Include your name/organization’s name and address with each bundle of cards;
Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member,” as cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program; and
Avoid cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill or injured soldiers.
Once signed, cards must be sent or dropped off to Senator Ritchie’s offices by November 8:
Watertown: 317 Washington St., Room 418, Watertown, NY 13601
Oswego: 46 E. Bridge St., First Floor, Oswego, NY 13126
Ogdensburg: 330 Ford St., City Hall Basement, Ogdensburg, NY 13669
Our servicemen and women make tremendous sacrifices every day of the year protecting our freedoms, often spending long periods of times away from their families and loved ones.
I hope you will join me again this year in letting them know that their service has not been forgotten.