THIS IS YOUR 2ND WARNING: CHRISTMAS IS COMING , FAST !!!!!!
As of today, we have 15 weekends left to get ready. So, how much have you done toward that goal?
Have you heard of Project Rudolph?
Project Rudolph was begun by one military family (the brainchild of an Army wife) in 2006 to give deployed service members a bit of holiday cheer. Small gift bags are created by, literally, thousands of volunteers, mostly from the United States and Germany, to be distributed to service members spending their holiday away from home and family serving our country. These soldiers are at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (the largest American hospital outside of the United States) or transitioning through one of the largest military airports in the world, Ramstein Airport on Ramstein Air Force Base. Bags are also distributed to injured warriors at transition barracks, deployed Navy personnel and Marines working in Germany, our deployed troops downrange and active duty Air Force members working to keep the airport running round the clock throughout the holidays.
All are spending their holiday far away from home and family, serving our country and protecting our lives. Many traveling through Ramstein Airport are just embarking on a year-long deployment. Those who are patients at Landstuhl have sustained serious injuries requiring surgery and hospitalization. For many, this is a short stop to be stabilized before being removed to a stateside hospital for further treatment.
What's in each bag?
Each soldier is given a decorated brown paper bag containing hand-written letters of appreciation - two from children and one from an adult, a pocket-sized (preferably flat) non-breakable Christmas ornament with "Project Rudolph 2009" written on it, German and American candy, a candycane, and a Christmas poem . In 2008, over 8000 bags were distributed !
When Tawny Campbell and her husband, Sgt. Joseph Campbell, began the effort in 2006, they had a goal of 500-750 bags and were overwhelmed by the project. A Boy Scout in Oakley, Idaho, Ian. M. Archibald, took Project Rudolph on as his Eagle Scout Project and helped to make that early effort a great success. The size of the effort has, unfortunately, needed to be upped each year since.
They need our help to make Project Rudolph 2009 another great success.
Can you write a letter of thanks to a soldier? It should only take you a few minutes to do so. Maybe you could write several. (They MUST be handwritten. Remember we want this to be personal and heartfelt!) Maybe your kids can help, too. Each bag needs two letters from children.
** There are rules to writing these letters.
Letters CANNOT :
** Be dated.
**Ask any questions about war, injuries, killing, etc. (At least 10% of the letters donated cannot be used due to such questions.)
**Be politically motivated, mention politicians or political affiliations.
** Be typed or photocopied.
**Be sealed in an envelope. (ALL must be reviewed before they are distributed.
Letters CAN :
** Express support and appreciation.
**Include a drawing by a child.
**Tell about the writer's family.
**Share personal experiences that motivate.
**Include a return address.
Can you make ornaments of some sort? They should be pocket-sized (4" square or smaller), preferably fairly flat and, definitely unbreakable. Small flat wooden pieces, crocheted, knitted or plastic needlepointed items are good, flat fabric items - I'm sure you can come up with your own ideas.
I'm participating in this effort this year in honor of my nephew, Tom, who passed away several weeks ago. A Desert Storm veteran, Tom was very proud of his military service and was very concerned about our soldiers having spent quite a few Christmases away from home. I know he would be touched by the effort and I regret not having found the time to do so last year when I first learned about Project Rudolph and he was still here with us to fully appreciate the Project. I'm sure it would make him happy. I am making ornaments and writing Thank You letters, as well as, rounding up friends to do the same. (Groups of children decorate the gift bags as class and scout projects.)
If you'd like to assist me in these efforts, please contact me by e-mail or through an Etsy convo.
You are also more than welcome to gather your own donations and send them to Tawny yourself.
If you'd like to know more about Project Rudolph, click here.
ALL PROJECT RUDOLPH DONATIONS MUST BE MAILED BY VETERAN'S DAY - NOVEMBER 11, 2009 !!!!
You can send donations of letters, ornaments and cash (for candy and supply purchases) directly to: Tawny Campbell at CMR 402 Box 2414, APO AE 09180 or you can e-mail her directly at taznjo [at] hotmail [dot] com.
Project Rudolph is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit charity. They are also part of America Supports You.