GRANT COUNTY - With the computer world of instant messaging and e-mails taking over the means of communication, the personal touch of an envelope with a handwritten note inside is easily deleted from the mind.
This Christmas, soldiers in Iraq are sure to appreciate the homemade and handwritten cards that are being made by people in Grant County wishing them a merry Christmas.
The idea came after Angel Carpenter of John Day heard of the card project being done in Forest Grove.
Carpenter brought the idea to Mary Jane Allen's attention while attending church at the Church of Latter-day Saints. Allen is co-chair for activities for the church.
The children began making cards with their Christmas wishes and the adults writing short messages to the soldiers.
"I think they should have someone who cares about them and know that we're here for them," 10-year-old Penny Ratliff said.
Anyone interested in writing a card to a soldier is welcome to bring the cards with or without an envelope to the Blue Mountain Eagle before 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, to be placed in the box to be shipped out to Iraq. There is no limit to how many cards can be turned in.
The priceless package will be the second one sent to Warrant Officer Joel Anderson, who is in charge of handing out the cards to soldiers.
Anderson lived in Prairie City, with his parents, Bob and Rosemary Anderson, until he graduated from high school. His parents who now live in Santa Clara, N.M. He has been in the Army for 18 years and has kept in touch with Allen through the years.
Spc. 4th Class Debbie N. Parker is also stationed in Iraq and is on the mailing list to receive a box of cards to hand out. Parker is the daughter of Margie and Denver Parker of Mt. Vernon.
"I think that they'll like them and they might send some cards back," 8-year-old Douglas Ratliff said.
At last count, 104 had been cards collected, including those made by students at Humbolt Elementary, where a drop off box is located, too. Deadline to turn cards in at the Humbolt office is Nov. 12.
It only takes five minutes to make a soldier's day.