BY HANNAH GROGAN

Multimedia Editor

The Key Club hosted an event where they wrote letters to soldiers for the holidays, sophomore and class director Ashley Mila said the purpose of the event is to express gratitude for soldiers through showing that there are people appreciating all the sacrifices they make daily.

“I am happy to show my gratitude towards the army and express how much I respect the things they do,” Mila said. “It’s hard for soldiers to be stationed instead of coming home for the holidays so we just want to show them that we are thinking of them during this time.”

Key Club adopted this idea from the English Honor Society (EHS). English teacher and club adviser Cecilia Fonseca said writing letters to soldiers’ events started with EHS and was done around Veterans’ Day. 

“Writing these letters gave the members something to write about which was Englishy in nature,” Fonseca said. “At the same time, students were reaching out to the community, which is part of our mission statement.”

Mila said her team sent a prompt and information to their members so that they could make a card and send it via email. She said she encourages all members to participate in meaningful events.

 “The club has [over] 100 members so I am hoping that a lot of students participate in spreading the love this holiday season,” Mila said. “We made it super simple where students create their letters and send it to one email so we can ship them all out at the same time.”

Noah Greenbaum, senior class director of Key Club, said the participating members will write letters to soldiers overseas about themselves and will express their gratitude for the soldier’s services. He said they provided an example letter to all members to create a baseline for them to follow. 

“The meaning behind this event is to not only get the members to write letters to the soldiers but also gain an appreciation,” Greenbaum said. “We want to show our gratitude towards everything the soldiers do for us and our country as a whole.”

 Greenbaum said he doesn’t know the specific location of where the letters will be going, but he knows they are going to soldiers who are stationed overseas. He said they have 16 members participating as of right now and hope to get more by the deadline.

“It’s extremely important that these letters are sent out during the holiday season because there are many soldiers away from their homes,” Greenbaum said. “There are families who can’t get home in time for the holidays so it’s nice for them to get these letters during this time to lift their spirits while they’re away.”

Fonseca e said with the onset of COVID-19, many of their usual projects were no longer possible. Fonseca said they have to type the letters right now, but she looks forward to a time when the kids can actually write them again in person. She said it still has the same meaning and concept.

“There is something gratifying about opening an envelope and seeing somebody’s thoughts in actual writing,” Fonseca said. “A service person can look at the letters and think that somebody back home thought it worthwhile to thank them. And then, took the time to do it.  A stranger.”

Greenbaum said writing to soldiers overseas is exciting because you don’t know when the person will get your message or when you could get a response back. He said it gives him the assurance that he is showing his respect. 

“Something I look forward to when writing to people is that, although I may not get a response, I know the recipient will truly appreciate the things I’ve said,” Greenbaum said. “I could brighten their day if they are having a hard time.”