More than 100 colourful, hand-written Christmas cards are on their way to Canadian soldiers, thanks to a group of thoughtful Edmonton students.
In November, the Canadian Armed Forces put out a call for people across the country to write cards to personnel who will be away from their families over the holidays. The call is part of the “write to the troops” program.
After hearing about the project, staff at Our Lady of Victories Catholic School thought it would be the perfect way for kids to carry on what they learned about Remembrance Day.
“We had done the celebration at the school and we learned about peace and what peace meant to them,” Grade 2 teacher Michelle Bezubiak said. “They really internalized how lucky we are to have peace in our world and how there are people who are fighting for that peace.
“We had made cards and kids really had the most wonderful things to say about what the soldiers do for us and what peace means to them and why it’s important for us to do something for others to bring peace to them when they’re away from their families.”
Grade 2 student Peter Tosic made a card with Santa on the front. Inside he drew pictures of hot chocolate and candy canes, along with the message: “Thank you for fighting for us. Thank you for keeping our world safe.”
“The soldiers are away from their families and we want to make them feel happy,” Tosic said about why he made his card.
His classmates Adelyn Reich and Kate Idayan also created wonderfully colourful cards. They too shared messages of peace and love for the soldiers.
“Peace is important. Thank you for giving it to us. Thank you for keeping us safe and fighting for our country, and Merry Christmas,” Reich wrote inside her card.
“The soldiers were keeping us safe from all the bad things and they’re away from their families in the time of Christmas,” Idayan said, adding she hopes her card makes them happy and feel joy.
Students from Kindergarten to Grade 4 took part in the card-making project. The cards will be mailed off to the soldiers on Thursday.
“I feel so fortunate to be a teacher because I get to see the beautiful hearts and souls of these students and how lucky we are to have them in the world because it really starts with them — peace — and how building community in our classrooms, in our schools, in our cities and how really it is important to us to spread peace and love throughout the world,” Bezubiak said.
Currently there are around 2,100 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed overseas. The write-to-the-troops program started in 2001.
Canadian Armed Forces guidelines require cards to be sent with a stamp if it’s going to “any Canadian Armed Forces member.” The item being mailed can’t contain anything other than correspondence.
In order for letters and cards to be received by members overseas by Christmas, the correspondence must be in Trenton, Ont. before Dec. 9.
Here is the address provided by the Canadian Armed Forces to send a card or a letter to military personnel:
Any Canadian Armed Forces Member
P.O. Box 5004 Stn Forces