When you think about the organization Cards for the Troops, many mistakenly take that as greeting cards and well wishes that are sent to our soldiers, but as Local 4's Emily Scarlett shows us, the organization founded here in the Quad Cities does the opposite - sending quality, hand-made, unsigned greeting cards to our troops, for them to send back home their families.
"I'm a Navy wife of 30 years," says founder and coordinator of the Cards for the Troops, Mary Sue Sipple.
She knows all too well what it is like to be separated from your military spouse.
Sipple says, "A lot of times the guys aren't home. They're deployed, or in my case, my husband, even if he wasn't deployed he was out at sea for weeks or months at a time."
So, she started Cards for the Troops nine years ago to ease the pain of that separation.
"Receiving a hand-written note is really invaluable."
The organization meets one night a year in September designing thousands of unsigned greeting cards for all different occasions.
"We started as a pretty small group, maybe about 60 of us in comparison to what we are today of well over 300," says Sipple
Led by cream of the crop designers, "This year, 38 of the regions finest stamping artists," that organize small groups to assemble thousands of cards using rubber stamp art.
As founder and coordinator, Mary Sue's commitment extends well beyond the one night in September.
"My part of Cards for the Troops begins, actually, in January."
Talk about dedication, every year, Mary Sue makes the drive to Ohio to buy quality card stock. She says, only the best for our soldiers.
Sipple tells Local 4 News, "Our oldest son Kevin is stationed in the Middle East right now, and yes, we'll be sending over to him and his fellow soldiers and troops."
All so the troops can send the cards back with their own personalized messages.
"You can pick it up when you want to. You can read it when you want, and you always, always feel the love that's in that card."
This year's event is Tuesday, September 27.
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