Eden Prairie Students Lift Military Heroes Hearts

(R to L) Students Shea Brennan, Jenny Leestma, and Bella Wheeler, with regional executive Phil Hansen (far left).
(R to L) Students Shea Brennan, Jenny Leestma, and Bella Wheeler, with Red Cross northern Minnesota regional executive Phil Hansen (far left).

Last fall, two Eden Prairie High School business clubs engaged their entire school in a massive Holiday Mail for Heroes card-signing event for the American Red Cross.

The group, led by seniors Jenny Leestma, Bella Wheeler and Shea Brennan, worked with their principal to distribute blank cards to each homeroom, hang posters and banners throughout the school building, and even created a program where students could sign multiple cards in exchange for required volunteer hours. In the end, the students collected over 1,500 cards for deployed soldiers and veterans and estimated that 1,000 students participated in the project.

After the event, students read through the signed cards to ensure all messages were appropriate. “We saw that [the project] touched the students when we began to read through the cards and saw the amazing thought and effort put into so many of them,” says Jenny Leestma, one of the student leaders of the project. “It was truly a blessing to contribute to such an amazing program!”

Holiday Mail for Heroes is an annual event coordinated by the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Department, which supports members of the U.S. Military, its veterans and their families. This past year, people from across the country sent a record number of 2.1 million cards, including the cards from the Eden Prairie High School students.

The American Red Cross also has additional way for groups of youth to get involved with our programs. For more information please visit our website.

Thank you to the students at Eden Prairie High School for enthusiastically participating in Holiday Mail for Heroes, and extra thanks to the DECA/BPA students who worked so hard to make this year’s event a huge success!

Story by Lisa Joyslin, Volunteer Resources Director, American Red Cross Northern Minnesota Region. Photo credit: Lynette Nyman/American Red Cross

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