As much as I do not like attention, I have been taught, that publicity will help this organization grow. I have found myself in the news a lot recently, I am honored that adults are taking notice, and listening to me, and asking if they can help. Each person I can speak to has the potential to reach another 10-20 people, and so on and so on.
Cormier’s Christmas wish? To get ‘kards’ to troops serving overseas
By Judy Peterson
Since Ruth produces the kards herself on her computer, they’re not handwritten, and this year she has run into some push-back from organizations that will only mail handwritten notes.
That problem, however, appears to be solved. “I’ve already sent two boxes to Afghanistan,” Ruth said, “and I have organizations in other states that will mail the rest for me, but I need money to get the kards to those other organizations.”
She said those other organizations have encouraged her to make even more kards. “They’re looking for 300,000 kards, so I’m hoping more individuals will help me make more. I’m trying to make kards for everyone who’s overseas.”
Ruth estimates there are U.S. soldiers serving at more than 200 overseas outposts.
Her efforts for this holiday season started long before most people were even thinking about the holidays. “I’ve been making them all year so I’d be ready to send them in November,” Ruth said. As a student at West Valley College, Ruth squeezed in her pet project between classes, sometimes staying up until 4 a.m. to push on through.
Kards 4 Soldiers is actually an outgrowth of a project
Ruth started a few years ago, which was sending kards to people hospitalized during the holidays and on Valentine’s Day. “I was looking for something else to do,” she said, “and I thought, ‘Who’s more lonely at Christmas than soldiers?’ So I contacted Congressman Mike Honda, and he arranged for someone to deliver my kards last year.”Ruth also distributed her kards at the recent Veteran’s Day Parade in San Jose. “I walked up and down the street and gave out about 500 kards to veterans,” she wrote in an email. “I looked each into the eye and thanked them for their service to our country. Many had solemn faces, some had watery eyes as they read my kards.”
Days later, Ruth received an email from a veteran thanking her for his kard. “Some of these veterans have never heard a thank you until they came to that parade,” she said. “I received an email from a veteran who wondered if his sacrifice really made a difference. He said my kard gave him hope and he would remember it the rest of his life.”
Ruth’s 2011 Christmas kard reads in part, “If you are camped out, in trenches, fields, or cities, and thinking that no one at home remembers you, I want you to know that there are people here who remember you, care and want you to come home safe.” She goes on to say that the soldiers’ service to country is really her Christmas present.
Ruth hopes to turn Kards 4 Soldiers into a certified nonprofit organization. “Then I can collect money that will help pay ongoing expenses,” she said.
Her efforts have already been recognized: She is an ambassador for, and received a scholarship from, Youth Focus, a group that promotes youth leadership.
She is also a 2011 Los Gatos Youth Citizen of the Year and, as such, will be among the town’s youth who are recognized at the Dec. 2 town Christmas Tree Lighting event. She will also blow one of the whistles that sets the Dec. 3 Los Gatos Children’s Christmas and Holidays Parade in motion.
To reach Ruth Cormier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayor Pirzynski Names Youth Citizens of the Year
Five Youth Citizens of the Year were honored Saturday morning: Ruth Cormier, Joe Chadwick, Michael Daboll, Michaela Jose, and Jordanne Sanford will officiate at the tree lighting ceremony December 2nd and lead the Children’s Holidays and Christmas Parade the next day.
Ruth Cormier attends West Valley College. She started “Kards 4 Kids,” “Kards 4 You,” and “Kards 4 Soldiers” organizations that make greeting cards for people in need.