Soldiers' Angels to visit the library

Jul. 23, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Amanda Gray gets a kick out of writing letters and sending packages to deployed military personnel. The Thomasville resident wants to pass along the opportunity for other community members to participate in a Soldier’s Angels event set for Saturday, July 26 at Thomasville Public Library.

Gray was inspired to help the soldiers through several of her family members who served in the military — her grandfather, an uncle and a cousin. She had been writing letters and sending care packages to military and veterans who weren’t part of her family for about four years before discovering the Soldiers’ Angels organization.

“Right now there are donation boxes currently set up at the Thomasville Public Library and we are collecting donations for both food and non-food items for both soldiers and veterans,” said Gray. “On July 26 we will be collecting donations as well as holding a letter and card writing event so that the community can help support soldiers and veterans.”

The letter and card writing event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the big meeting room.

Gray knows that often mail call may be a soldier’s only bright spot in the day — or week.

“I tell people to write their letters as if they’re writing to their best friend,” she said. “Tell them where you have gone this summer. Tell them about a book you’ve read or a movie you’ve seen.”

For people who think they can’t write letters, Gray tells them about her two nephews Jaelyn Lowder, 6, and Caleb Lowder, 3.

“Jaelyn says things like ‘You’re my Super Hero’ and ‘Thank you for fighting the bad guys.’” she said. “Caleb colors pictures for them.”

Gray’s 15-year-old niece likes to look up quotes and draw pictures to go along with them.

“A lot of the soldiers enjoy getting letters and pictures from the kids because they miss their own kids back home,” she said.

Gray wore a broad smile after she recently checked Soldiers’ Angels donation boxes.

Beside the donation boxes at the library are flyers with a needed items list.

“Our community has been really generous in donating to the effort,” she said. “If it’s something you can't live without it, they can't either.”

Gray solicits non-perishable food items such as beef jerky, nuts, chips, gum, instant soup mix, instant oatmeal or grits and instant drink mixes such as coffee, hot chocolate, Gatorade and Kool-Aid.

Non-food items needed include small size toiletries, Chapstick, insect repellent, toothbrushes and toothpaste, Kleenex, playing cards, Wordsearch and crossword puzzle books, bedroom slippers and cotton lap robes.

Beside the donation boxes at the library are flyers with a needed items list.

Soldiers' Angels is a nonprofit organization that supports soldiers, veterans and their families.

Soldiers' Angels has been honored with a 2014 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations.

The top-rated nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that Soldiers' Angels received - reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients.

Here are some recipients’ comments:

“This is the first time I have ever seen this much support given to us. Everytime the mail comes in there are boxes from Soldiers' Angels. Knowing of individuals outside of our friends and family that take the time and effort to send a package shows us just how much support and respect our nation still has for our military.”  - 1SG Paul R. in Afghanistan

I just wanted to say you guys are truly a blessing and really are "Soldiers' Angels" – You guys help us soldiers who don't have families at home to talk to or send little knick-knacks that we take for granted in the states. I just don't have enough words to tell you guys how much you are appreciated. - Sgt. Williams

We cannot even begin to express in words our gratitude towards the Angels for helping our family through this trying time in our life … You all have been instrumental in changing our lives for the better and giving us a second chance in life at peace and happiness after the storm. I feel as though my husband finally feels the total worth of all his sacrifice for all those years. He feels appreciated, loved, and cared for. – Wife of a wounded warrior

For more information, contact Amanda Gray at agray@soldiersangels.org or visit

www.soldiersangels.org/.

Thomasville Public Library is at 14 Randolph St. For more information, call 474-2690.