Pam Henslee, the business technology teacher at CHS, ran across an event called Mail for Heroes while scrolling through her social media newsfeed. The FBLA is in its second year of operation at the school, and Henslee said they currently have 21 members among grades ninth through twelfth.
“I saw it and thought that might be something our club, being as small as we are, could just do and make a small impact. We have several graduates that are in the services, and we have one that is deployed overseas that I know of for sure,” Henslee said. “We’re making small packages for our graduates, and then we’re going to send the rest off to the Mail for Heroes. And, it’s not everybody that’s from here that’s in the service, it’s just a handful that I know that I’ve taught recently and I know is in the service.”
Michael Smothers of Regions Bank brought 171 Christmas cards with him to the school Wednesday afternoon that he and employees at the bank had taken time to write in.
“We were looking to do a project at the bank for our community for Christmas, and I spoke to my manager about the idea and he said, ‘Well, get it started and head it up,’” Smothers said. “I saw on Facebook where Mrs. Henslee was doing this project, and so I asked her if we could participate. ... At Regions we have what we call core values, and one of those values is putting people first. I think this is a good way that we can put our community first in some small way.”
Between the bank’s 171 cards and the club’s 230, service members overseas in Afghanistan will be receiving 401 heartfelt sentiments this holiday. Henslee added that some of her classroom students were also involved with the project.
Two club members, senior Kaytlin Noles and freshmen Ethan Guthrie, shared their thoughts on the importance of sending the Christmas cards to the troops.
“It will make a difference in their lives because they’re not going to be able to be with their families over the holidays,” Noles said.
Guthrie added to that saying, “They’re serving our country, and some of them don’t have family [members] to write to them and stuff.”
Henslee will mail the cards to Maryland and from there they will be shipped overseas. She and Smothers shared their reasons why sending the cards mean so much to them as well.
“My dad was in the Air Force for 20 years, and I know that at two different times my dad was deployed overseas. I can remember, of course I was little, but I can remember my mother writing letters every day,” Henslee said. “I think it helped her as much as it helped him to get those letters, just to stay connected.”
“I had one grandfather that was a World War II vet, and he lost his left eye. I had another grandfather that served in Korea. My dad was stationed in Germany, and my dad said he loved when he got something, it didn’t matter what it was, from back home because that way he knew somebody is thinking about me; I have not been forgotten over here,” Smothers said. “Especially at Christmas time because Christmas time is so hard for them. Dad said he was so homesick during those first holidays away. For us to let them know that we are thinking about them in some small way, I hope it makes their day. I really do.”