Sending Holiday Cheer to Military

Jasmine Brown
St. Louis Rams

Sending Holiday Cheer to Military

Many families continue the tradition each and every holiday season to send holiday cards and wishes to families and loved ones.

The St. Louis Rams, in partnership with the American Red Cross, also joined in on that tradition with Edward Jones associates. This year, both organizations invited two Rockwood School District elementary schools, Fairway and Westridge, to send holiday wishes to our country’s domestic troops.

“Our students were thrilled for the opportunity to decorate and write messages in the cards,” said Dave Cobb, principal at Fairway Elementary School. “The opportunity to thank members of our troops for their service was an inspiration for all students at all grade levels.”

For the third annual Holiday Mail for Heroes event, volunteers from the St. Louis Rams front office staff and Edward Jones associates met at Westridge Elementary School to kick off the decorating and message-writing festivities. As the volunteers enjoyed a light breakfast and waited for student leaders to escort them to their designated classroom, they read a letter from a military member who thanked each organization for their contribution to the holiday card that he received the year before. Rams running back Chase Reynolds also joined volunteers at Westridge.

After spending time with the kids at Westridge and helping them come up with ideas of what to write or draw in the cards, the volunteers from each organization traveled to Fairway Elementary School where they engaged more students to thank military members by making a holiday card. At Fairway, Rams tight end Justice Cunningham joined students and volunteers.

“We still have students carrying around Justice’s autograph,” explained Cobb days after the event. “Having a Rams player brought more excitement for the students.”

This year, the St. Louis Rams and American Red Cross – Greater St. Louis Region held a contest among area students to submit a design for the cover of the holiday card. The cover of this year’s card displayed the winning design by Alaina McAlister of Rogers Middle School in the Affton School District.

Within the card, there is a personal message from St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Longalong with an autographed photo. Inside the card, there was space for students, volunteers, and anyone who wanted to decorate or write a message to a military member.

The annual Holiday Mail for Heroes service day ended as a success with more than 7,000 cards decorated and sent to our country’s domestic troops.

“I was so impressed with the volunteers,” said Cobb. “Each and every volunteer came to our school with a large smile on his or her face. They are great people with an obvious passion to help others. Fairway feels honored that we were chosen to participate in such a valuable event.”