Teens make Christmas cards for soldiers overseas

Published: Dec. 7, 2017 at 9:32 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2017 at 6:49 AM CST
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MARION, IL (KFVS) - Teens at the Marion Carnegie Library took time to impact the lives of active duty soldiers this holiday season by sending Christmas cards to those overseas.

Katie Stotlar, coordinator of Young Adult Services felt it was important to plan the event.

"I thought that a small reminder, to those serving, that we are thinking about them is extremely important," she said. "Often times they are under appreciated and their dedication to our country goes unrecognized."

She recognized the importance of reaching out to our soldiers throughout this season from personal experience.

"Several members of my family have served or are serving in the military, including all of my siblings and my husband," she said. "There were several holidays that we did not get to spend together due to military life."

The group of teens crafted 15 Christmas cards that were sent to Swade Sanders, an active duty soldier.

Once he receives the cards he will share them with his unit.

Sanders is stationed in Iraq and is part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Troops who serve in this operation fight alongside Syrian and Iraqi forces to combat ISIS.

Stotlar coordinated with Leslie Sanders, Swade Sander's mother, who emphasized that "the war on terrorism is real and still going on."

Her son has scarcely gotten to call home and won't return until May.

Mrs. Sanders was moved by the kindness of the teens who created cards.

Stotlar said working with Mrs. Sanders was heartbreaking, but encouraging.

"She was extremely proud of her son and of all of the men and women serving our country today," Stotlar said. "It was nice to see the dedication and support that these soldiers are receiving from not only family, but from our neighbors and friends."

Stotlar was able to speak with the teens about the ongoing war.

"Reminding them of the importance of being thoughtful, seemed to make them a little bit more thankful that they were able to sit with me crafting freely, while others were fighting for that freedom," she said.

The teens were excited about the project, several making American themed cards and one even writing a sentimental letter to the soldiers.

Stotlar thought this project was successful and very humbling. "[The teens] thought that it was pretty cool to be able to put a smile on a soldier's face this holiday season."

You can click here for more information on Operations Inherent Resolve.

For future programs at the Marion Carnegie Library, you can click here to see the calendar.

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