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Rowan Public Library’s Cards for a Cause collects over 2,000 cards

By Laurie Lyda

Rowan Public Library

SALISBURY – This holiday season, Rowan Public Library’s Cards for a Cause campaign collected a record 2,165 cards. The cards were delivered to service members and veterans of the United States armed forces.

Each RPL branch – RPL headquarters (Salisbury), RPL East (Rockwell), and RPL South (China Grove) – had stations set up for card-making and delivery, and all ages were invited to participate.

The campaign begins every October and runs through early December. Patrons can craft their cards at any RPL branch or simply submit already-completed cards. They can also specify where their cards are delivered — to current service members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard or to veterans at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center. This year saw the addition of the U.S. National Guard, as well.

There are different submission deadlines during the campaign to accommodate international and Stateside deliveries, so throughout the campaign, RPL staff routinely sort the cards and arrange delivery to the respective recruiting offices. The offices then forward the cards on to service members. RPL staff deliver cards designated for veterans to the VAMC in Salisbury.

Officers at the local recruiting offices are happy to send the cards on to their service members. Over the years, cards submitted to Cards for Cause have made their way to a myriad of locations, including Afghanistan and various basic training camps.

“The cards make an impact,” said program coordinator and RPL East Children’s Library Associate Tammie Foster, who has spoken with numerous recruiting officers about how much their service members appreciate receiving the cards. “It especially means a lot to those who don’t get any mail.”

The memorable holiday cards send a variety of wishes, from funny to sentimental. Foster finds them all touching and recalls one memorable wish from a child that said, “If you don’t have a family this Christmas, I will be your family.”

Cards for a Cause began in 2015 and collected approximately 230 cards for active service members of the United States armed forces. In 2016, more than 800 were collected, and cards were also submitted specifically for veterans, so in 2017, the campaign expanded to add the VAMC as a delivery designation, and collected over 1,300 cards. Last year, more than 1,400 were sent to active and retired service members.

While Cards for a Cause has always been a collective effort, Foster found the community response especially impressive this year.

“I am truly touched that so many community organizations took time to send encouraging words to our active service members and to our veterans,” Foster said.

This year’s community organization participants included 4-H Rowan Researchers, Branch Christian Academy Co-Op Group, Cub Scouts Pack 476 of Mt. Ulla, Gold Hill Wesleyan Church, Grace Academy, Millbridge Elementary School, Milford Hills Baptist Church, Piedmont Baptist Church and AWANA Program, Rockwell Elementary, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s SOAR program, St. James Lutheran Church Preschool, St. Paul Wesleyan Church, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Preschool, Salisbury Therapeutic Rec Club, Shive Elementary, South Rowan High School ROTC, South Rowan YMCA, Southeast Middle School and Weddington Hills Elementary School.

Preparations are already under way for the 2020 campaign, which will kick off in October. Donations of unused holiday cards and/or holiday card-sized envelopes can be dropped off at any RPL location. Please indicate that they are intended for Cards for a Cause.

Foster invites any individuals or organizations who are interested in participating in the 2020 campaign to contact her at 704-216-7842 or Tammie.Foster@rowancountync.gov. She looks forward to even higher numbers in 2020. “I enjoy watching it grow every year,” she said.

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