By: Katie Austin
Thanksgiving morning started off with me leafing through the many sale ads in the newspaper while sipping coffee with The Today Show playing in the background. I would look up once in awhile to watch the segments that caught my ear, but for the most part, I was happily enjoying the peace and quiet while planning which stores to go to on Black Friday. I was planning my attack to get a chunk of our Christmas shopping finished, so it was going to take something special to lure me away from the sales. Then, it happened. I watched the story on Savannah’s Soldiers and I knew then that I wanted to tell my Every Woman blog family about it!
Savannah Maddison Ogden is an 11-year old girl with an inspirational story. When her friend’s father was deployed to Afghanistan, she was sad for her friend and wanted to do what she could to help her friend through it. She wrote a song for her friend to show her support, but she felt that wasn’t enough. Savannah wanted to do more, not just for her friend’s dad but also for others who had been deployed for a long time.
I can’t imagine my parents going away for that long,” the 11-year-old told the Today Show. “That would crush me.”
She and her friend tried to think of ways to support the troops. They quickly realized that the way they could comfort the soldiers who are so far away from home would be to send them heartfelt letters expressing their appreciation for the soldiers’ sacrifice. The idea was to get kids of all ages to write letters. Savannah and her family would gather the letters, then split them into groups to mail overseas. That’s when “Savannah’s Soldiers” was born. Since then, the campaign has already encouraged kids to send more than 10,000 letters to troops in Afghanistan.
What started out as a local effort is growing by the day! In the beginning, Savannah and her friends collected approximately 30 letters each week. Now, as reported on the Today Show, Savannah is speaking at schools and events to encourage kids to write to the soldiers who have been deployed overseas.
“Anything from home always makes you feel good,” Capt. Bryan Durham told the Today Show. “When you get a letter from a little kid saying, ‘Good job,’ ‘We’re thinking of you,’ ‘Thank you,’ you can’t explain it.”
One of the reasons why I wanted to pass this along to my Every Woman Blog family was to spread the word to others, get our kids to mail letters in, and support Savannah! I am so inspired by this 11-year old girl from Florida and she makes me want to be a better person. This was exactly the story I needed to hear on Thanksgiving, as this is the time of year to count our blessings and to thank those that sacrifice every day to fight for the freedom we take for granted.
Savannah, thank you for reminding us that there are many soldiers spending time away from home this holiday season and that we need to let them know thankful we are for all that they do every day for our country. You are a true inspiration to so many, and I, for one, am thankful for all that you are doing!