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The Story behind the
Holiday Cards for our Military Challenge



Click here to listen to Laura describe the Holiday Card Challenge for our Military on WZID radio
(09.2019 interview)



Sixteen years ago,
Dr. Laura Landerman-Garber handed out Holiday Cards to her Family at Thanksgiving,
asking them to write messages to our Military Heroes; it was to be their “ticket to turkey”!
Flash forward to October 2017, when she became determined to send cards to a family friend
aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and to each member of that Navy Aircraft Carrier,
then deployed and out to sea.

After learning that there were 5,000 plus Military Personnel aboard,
she created the Card Challenge and got word out through Social Media platforms,
TV, newspaper, and hundreds of phone calls.
The response was spectacular and the cards poured in from Granite Staters,
from preschoolers to Scouts to students to local VFW Chapters to
NH Governor Sununu and from US Senators Shaheen and Hassan and Congresswomen Kuster and Shea-Porter.
Her goal was 5,000 but the final count was close to 17,000 cards for our Troops!
The cards were boxed up and sent out and arrived to the Ship the weekend before Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza.


Laura promised a WWII Veteran
that if she continued the Card Challenge in 2018,
that she would send cards to all five Branches of our Military.
A promise is a promise and in the Spring of 2018, she formed a Nonprofit Corporation,
Holiday Cards 4 Our Military-NH Challenge,
to both spread the word across State Lines and to allow for tax-exempt donations
as the postage costs were hefty.

In 2018,
Laura's goal was 25,000 cards: 5,000 for each branch of the military (army, navy, air force, marines and coast guard).
Laura went to DC and met with Senators Shaheen and Hassan and
with members from each of the Military Branches, brainstorming on how to achieve her goals.
She met in NH with Governor Sununu as well as NH Commissioner of Education, Frank Edleblut. 
The Department of Education created a YouTube Video
[click on the blue text to view it],
challenging every Student in the State to sign a card.

Laura visited schools and businesses as well as religious organizations, VFW Chapters,
Lion and Rotary Clubs, talking with Scouts and artists,
Hospital Marketing Department Staff and anyone who expressed
an interest in sending care and respect to our deployed Troops.

Generous Grants from Eversource, Walmart, BAE, and Hannafords
were awarded and donations from small businesses and private citizens were received.
WMUR ABC Affiliate, WZID Radio Group and newspapers around the State
covered the story of the Challenge.

The Associated Press (AP) picked up the story and word traveled around the Country,
bringing in Cards from Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Maryland, Colorado North Carolina, and Arkansas.
Veterans groups including Veterans First Responders Health Care and Strive
jumped on-board as did the First Responders around the State of NH.

The cards piled in boxes in Laura’s dining room,
totaling close to 50,000

at final count. Laura and her husband Ben
boxed them up and mailed them out to addresses around the World,
to the Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and the Army,
all of whom serve to protect our Country’s freedoms and our safety.


In December of 2018,
Laura traveled again to Washington DC and met with
Senators Shaheen and Hassan and their Staff to both review the 2018 Challenge
and to make plans for 2019.
She also was honored by an invitation to the Pentagon
by an Officer in the Air Force Central Command after their collaboration with the Card Challenge.


Already planning for 2019, Laura started placing phone calls, writing letters,
and meeting with potential participants directly after the 2018 Cards were shipped out to the Troops.
Cards began to pour in in July and new partnerships have formed. The messages remain as heartfelt and genuine as ever, expressing profound appreciation to our troops. From our youngest card-signer to our cherished seniors, he Holiday Card Challenge for our Military has collected thousands of cards for the coming season.

In 2019, we went national!
Schools and school districts across this great country are sending Holiday Cards for our Military to New Hampshire for delivery overseas. Laura's goal to ignite conversations about our freedom fighters and sending heartfelt gratitude to our warriors is being achieved one holiday card at a time.

Laura's gratitude to all who have joined in with her is profound and inspires her
to continue on her commitment to letting our Troops know
that we here at home are thinking of them
and appreciate their dedication to protecting our freedoms!

The Challenge
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For schools





OUR GOALS:

The primary goal of Holiday Cards for our Military Challenge is the collection and delivery of personalized, signed expressions of respect, caring and gratitude to deployed U.S. troops.

Your personalized, signed holiday greeting cards reflect your genuine support and caring, respect and appreciation of our military heroes,
letting them know that they are not alone
during the winter holiday season.

Laura has always believed that it is good to reach outside ourselves to share appreciation of others, especially the military. After sending approximately 70,000 cards to active military since 2003, we hope that the 2019 Challenge will double that number !
It can be done!

Each card will bring joy and comfort to one of our Warriors.

Every Card Counts!

As an added bonus, the Holiday Cards for our Military Challenge initiative has sparked important dialogues within families, schools, and businesses about the role of our military.
Signing cards often becomes an opportunity to learn, teach and raise awareness
of the sacrifices that our Troops
make for us here and around the Globe.


Finally, Holiday Cards for our Military Challenge actively promotes development of comparable Challenges elsewhere across the Country and around the world.

Laura is available to consult with anyone who is interested in creating a Holiday Card challenge, whether it takes place at one family’s holiday table, across a city, a county or a state!

Holidays Cards for our Military Challenge
is a 501C3 non-profit corporation registered in New Hampshire, USA
Contact Laura Landerman-Garber (President) for further information via FaceBook at Holiday Card Challenger or Instagram at #holidaycards4ourmilitary
 
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