Cards give soldiers a sense of home

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Fri., Jul. 8, 2011
Local kids are creating cards to send to U.S. soldiers serving overseas. Photo by Gregory A. Scibelli.
Local kids are creating cards to send to U.S. soldiers serving overseas. Photo by Gregory A. Scibelli.

What are the three most important things an American soldier serving overseas wants to see in a care package?

Two of them may not surprise you: Socks and crossword puzzles.

The third are cards and letters from home. And they don’t care if the letters come from people they know or don’t know.

“They are just happy to have that little part of him [or her] come to them,” said Carol Engleman, a member of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce representing Bart’s Beanery. The local business is owned by Mayor Donald Trinks.

Engleman and the Chamber were meeting on the subject of how the town could help support troops serving overseas. Ann Walsh, a consummate volunteer in town and a member of Windsor TV, also works to send care packages overseas. Engleman said she suggested a program where children and their families could come to Bart’s and make cards for soldiers.

“We then set up a corner in the restaurant with paper and crayons and stickers, and it has really taken off,” she said.

To go along with other programs at the restaurant, there is time dedicated every Tuesday at Bart’s to having families come and fill out the cards. Every card filled out earns a child a free ice cream cone.  But that is not why many of the children come.

“I think we are now seeing a new sense of patriotism that had been lost for many years,” said Trinks. “It’s unfortunate, but during peacetime, a lot of people don’t think of the military. Now that we have been at war, you are seeing people, including the younger children, come out. They want to make the cards, and they don’t even take the ice cream.”

Engleman said there is a steady flow of families and individuals that come and make cards. The biggest rewards for her are the “thank you” notes received back from the soldiers.

“They always make sure to say a thank you to that child that made them a card or drew them a picture,” said Engleman.

Trinks said he is pleased his business can be a host for such a great program and hopes that the newfound patriotism in the town, especially with the youth, will not be lost anytime soon.

While there are focused times on Tuesdays for cards to be filled out, patrons of the restaurant can actually make cards anytime they want, Trinks said. Cards are mailed out monthly by Walsh.

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