Put It in Writing

Feb 10, 2021

Every January, AmeriCorps member and Partnership 4 Kids College and Career Specialist Sheree Haynie and her students brainstorm to come up with an idea for their MLK Day Service Project. With COVID-19, service opportunities were more limited this year, but that didn’t stop Haynie and 36 post-secondary students from partnering with The Salvation Army to offer encouragement and cheer to those who might be feeling lonely and isolated during the pandemic.

For this year’s MLK Day Service Project, the students and several staff members made 165 handcrafted cards with handwritten notes, which were then distributed to senior residents living at The Salvation Army’s Durham Booth Manor and military veterans enrolled in The Salvation Army’s three veterans’ programs.

“I just told the students to think of their grandparents and what they would want to hear, and they just ran with it from there,” said Haynie.

Some of the students worked on their cards from home, while others gathered at the Partnership 4 Kids downtown office on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to enjoy snacks and socializing while they created cards at tables in the atrium.

"I love volunteering because I get to put others’ needs before my own,” said one student. “It makes me more appreciative of the brave and compassionate acts of others.”

“Everyone likes to get happy mail, especially now, and especially people who are not able to leave their homes and might be feeling especially isolated during the pandemic,” said Salvation Army Divisional Director of Volunteer Services Shawn Bonge. “I know these beautiful cards and encouraging notes warmed the hearts of many who are struggling. It seems like a small gesture, but a handwritten note can go a long way toward making someone’s day special.”

To learn more about the note-writing campaign and other volunteer opportunities with The Salvation Army, please visit our volunteer webpage or contact our volunteer coordinator at 402-898-6000 or WSTvolunteers@usc.salvationarmy.org.

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