HOPE MILLS: Cumberland Co. students make thousands of cards - WNCN: News, Weather

Cumberland Co. students make thousands of cards for soldiers

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HOPE MILLS, N.C. -

More than three thousand hand-made cards are going to soldiers this holiday season, thanks to Cumberland County students.

Tuesday the "Army's Army" organization collected the cards at five schools.

"Getting a card from a grown up is one thing, but getting a card from a child - seeing it through their eyes - to a soldier or a veteran is really something incredibly special," said Janine West with Army's Army.

West traveled to the schools to collect the cards. She was surprised to find more students had made cards than she expected or had even hoped for.

At Gallberry Farm Elementary School in the Gray's Creek area, about 400 students had made a card, either by themselves or with another student. Assistant Principal Tanya Gonzales said 22 out of 44 classes participated. Many of the students themselves come from military families she said. The school's population includes about 35 percent of students who have a parent in the military.

"To help a military family celebrate Christmas is a very good thing to do," commented 5th grader Kira Hageness. "Sometimes family members are away for Christmas so it can be kind of sad, but it can also be happy too."

West said the cards will be distributed to the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Fayetteville and also to soldiers locally and overseas.

"It's sad they can be here for Christmas and celebrate it with their family," said 1st grader Ava Sterling, explaining why she was happy to make a card.

The Army's Army is also photographing and posting photos of the cards online. The cards can then be shared by anyone electronically by email, facebook, twitter or other social media. The cards can be found at www.HeroesThankYou.org. Five thousand cards are already posted. The cards collected Tuesday will be added by the end of the week.

In addition to Gallberry Farm Elementary, the other participating schools were:  Southview High School, W.T. Brown Elementary, Cumberland Road Elementary and Howard Hall Classical Elementary.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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