Postcards and Peanuts for Patriots

by Clay Hurdle

Today's guest post is written by Clay Hurdle of Lake Park, Georgia. Clay is a member of generationOn's Youth Advisory Council and a recipient of generationOn's 911 National Day of Service & Remembrance Mini-Grant.

It is the final few days before we package the postcards and peanuts to be shipped to our troops (patriots) overseas...I have spent a few minutes today reminding friends through Facebook about the event scheduled for Saturday afternoon. The peanuts are being picked up at the Georgia Peanut Commission in Tifton today (Thanks, Mom). I spent a few minutes yesterday advertising our event on a local radio show called "Kids Talk". I received a call after the show that 600 YMCA kids would be making postcards as well (Thanks, YMCA and Kids Talk)! I also received 9-11 remembrance t-shirts for the volunteers yesterday (Thanks, GenerationOn). This evening, I will be picking up the baskets of postcards from seven local elementary schools that are participating. Last week several 4-H members and I volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club while they made postcards. Tonight, I will be organizing the supplies that we will need Saturday: staplers, tape, military USPS boxes and customs forms. Then I hope, with fingers crossed, everything runs smoothly Saturday! I feel that this project has already been a blessing in our community.

It has definitely been a blessing to me. My family has sent packages to soldiers for several years through a website called Anysoldier.com. This will be the first time that I have been a part of sending packages that could bring a smile to so many soldiers faces. I am hoping for at least 1500 smiles. Who cannot look at the drawings and words of a child and not smile? Here, you can see a couple of the postcards made by students. So much can be said by the drawing and words of a child.

This project has given me time to reflect on the tragedy of 9-11 and the aftermath. I was in elementary school when 9-11 occurred. There was an announcement in school that we needed to gather in the auditorium that morning. All of the details were not given to us, of course, but we were told that something had happened to people in New York and that we needed to pray for them and our country. Even though I was young, I have never forgotten that moment. Hopefully, with this project, our troops overseas will feel that they have not been forgotten, but are remembered daily as patriots.