Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

A card can make a big difference

 


Nearly 15,000 cards made out to soldiers serving overseas were created or signed by residents of Sweetwater County.

Thanks to community members answering the call of help from a local Green River volunteer Harry Holler, about 15,000 American soldiers overseas will receive a Christmas card this year.

“I think this community loves their people in the military,” he said. “They love America just like I do. I can’t say enough good things about this community.”

Holler said 15,000 cards is not the most or the least he has managed to collect, but it is a good number and something both communities, Green River and Rock Springs, can be proud of.

Holler and Monroe Intermediate School teacher Lori Hastert have been working together for years to keep this program up and running. Together they work with members of the local VFW Post No. 2321 to make sure the cards are sent.

“The Christmas cards will be sent to all of the addresses we have,” Holler said. “If you’ve got a loved one in the military, we need to know about it.”

Holler credited the success of the program to Hastert.

“Without her, it wouldn’t get going,” Holler said. “She gets the word out. I can’t say enough good things about her.”

Hastert said Holler just called her one year and asked if she would help him and she has been doing it ever since. Hastert said she can’t take credit for all of the schools in Sweetwater County School District No. 1 knowing, she said Mary Flom in the district’s central office sends out a district-wide email to help facilitate the program.

“Harry is a remarkable individual. He is a staunch supporter and advocate for our servicemen and servicewomen,” Hastert said. “He just keeps on giving to those serving. Through his actions and words, he has taught our students how to give of self, and the meaning of community service. It’s a privilege to work with him on this project as well as other projects.”  

Hastert said, MIS takes community service seriously and this project is not different. MIS students began working the Christmas cards in October. In fact, during the school’s fall festival, the school had a room set up for families to create cards to send to the troops.

“The students are pretty excited about helping as many have family and friends who have served or are serving in the military,” she said.

As for what goes in the cards, the school has a list of holiday greetings students can use or they can create their own. Each card contains a holiday greeting, a picture and a generic closing with Green River, Wy, or Rock Springs, Wy on it.

Hastert said she hopes the children at MIS will continue on with their community service when they get older.

“We want to teach the kids to go beyond themselves and to reach out to others,” she said.

This project holds a special place in Hastert’s heart, which may be why she is so passionate about it.

“This project is important to me as I have had many family and friends in the service. It’s important to give something back to those serving,” she said.

“Many have commented about receiving cards and packages from home and how that made a difference to them. Sending a bit of home to those away from home is important.” 

She knows some of her students have also seen and experienced this first hand.

“This is a great program,” she said. “I would encourage the community to become involved and to let Harry know if there is someone you would like to receive a card or package.”

 

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