Your Stories

A card from a Horseheads Middle School student to our troops

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“If you are an American soldier and reading this, you are awesome.   If you are Christian,  Jewish, Muslim, or anything  else and reading this,  you are awesome.  If you are white,  black, green,  purple , and reading this, you are awesome.  If you are a man or woman  fighting for America and reading this, you are awesome.  My point is, you are awesome.  You are only 1% of the American population . But you are the best  percent.  I want to thank you for being awesome and serving America.   If you have family at home,  I want to thank them for being awesome too.  Hang in there , and stay  awesome. ”   –  Aaren,  Horseheads Middle School Student

Your Stories

Our first delivery; Kosovo Army Base

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Thank you to the Elmira Heights VFW for allowing us to drop off 1033 cards  for delivery with your packages to be sent to the Kosovo Army base to our troops this week.  Cards were from the Horseheads Middle School,  Jen’s Day Care in Corning,  the Corning Relay for Life,   the students of the Summer Learning Academy and the Hartsville Community Baptist Church.  Many thanks to my good friend Noah, of the Corning Painted Post Middle school for joining me for the delivery.

Your Stories

My Summer with my friend and mentor Dick Walters

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I would like to thank my friend and mentor Dick Walters of the Red Cross and Bath VA for a great summer.  We have spent the summer going each week to visit the Veterans at the Bath VA.  He picks me up each week at my mom’s office,  we  have  lunch together first  and then go for 4-5 hours to visit the Veterans.  We  even get to play Bingo too with the Vets.  Thanks Dick for taking me each week, for a great summer and for being such  a wonderful mentor to me.


Your Stories

The Hartsville Community Baptist Church

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I would like to thank Marlene Andes ,  Mitzy and everyone at the Hartsville Baptist Church for inviting me, my best friend Ava and my mom to visit on Sunday.  Last year their small town of 600 people collected cards for me for the Red Cross Holiday for Heroes program.   They were having a chicken bbq  on Sunday and invited us to join them.  Their church was built in the 1800’s .  We talked about the importance of volunteerism ,  made cards together for this year’s  goal of 15,000 cards and  had a wonderful lunch.  I even got a chance to meet their hometown Hero,  William Eck.  He is a 96 years old  D-Day Veteran.  He was a Ranger in WW11 and landed on Omaha Beach.  Thank you so much for a great day and for making cards with me for this year’s goal of 15,000 cards  for our soldiers.

From;  Sophie

Your Stories

Sophie’s Visit


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Having had Sophie in class for two years (5th and 6th grade), I know what an inspiration she is to her peers. For this reason, I felt that she would be a perfect guest speaker for the Summer Learning Academy (SLA) students. Not to mention, the theme was “Heroes,” and she is already a hero at such a young age!  Sophie visited two groups of students and talked with them about some of the projects she has been a part of. She shared her website with the classes, showed them some videos and photos from her projects, answered questions, and then she worked with us to make holiday cards toward this year’s drive.  Together, we created 98 cards to put toward Sophie’s new goal of 15,000 cards. I am hopeful that her visit will create conversations that spread the word about volunteering and what we can do to make a difference.  Thanks for visiting our classrooms, Sophie!

From;  Rachel Hogue,  6th grade teacher Horseheads Intermediate School and  Summer Learning Academy



Your Stories

Summer Learning Academy Lends A Hand

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Under the leadership of Kristen Miller, the Horseheads Summer Learning Academy (SLA) students collected items for the SPCA. The suggested items came from the SPCA’s Wish List and included peanut butter, pet toys, pet food, pet treats, blankets, and towels.  The overall theme of SLA this year was “Heroes.” This donation gave the students a chance to see that there are heroes everywhere in our community, and that they can be a hero, too!  To conclude this donation drive, a volunteer from the SPCA, along with a kitten named Vader, spoke with the SLA students about proper pet treatment and safety. The students were each able to pet and play with the kitten, while also getting the opportunity to present their donations to the organization.  I think that it was a great opportunity for students from kindergarten to sixth grade to see what an impact they can have on an organization in their community, just by doing something so simple!

From  Rachel Hogue,  6th grade teacher  Horseheads Intermediate School and Summer Learning Academy.



Your Stories

Sophie inspires me. (Our very first post. Thank you so much!!)

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Since I met Sophie last year, I have been inspired and awed by her generous spirit, her sense of giving, and her humility. She makes me want to give and help. Last year, my work colleagues and I signed holiday cards for her Holiday Mail for Heroes project. This year, I’ve asked colleagues and friends to donate unused holiday cards to the project. We’ll either give them to Sophie to give to offices and organizations to sign, or we’ll sign them ourselves for her collection. Here’s a photo of just a few of the donations. Thank you, and dream big, Sophie!

Your Stories

The Patriot Guard Riders bring home unclaimed fallen veterans.

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On June 26, 2015, I was invited to attend, on behalf of the Red Cross, a ceremony honoring the remains of unclaimed fallen veterans.  In our country there are still veterans that served in wars but were never claimed at the funeral homes.  The Steuben  County Veterans Agency sponsors the Patriot Guard Riders Veterans Recovery Program.  Seven veterans, 5 from WWII and 2 from the Vietnam War, were transported from Buffalo, NY, to Bath, NY, to the Bath VA National Cemetery for their final resting place via a convoy of motorcycles.  It was so touching to see.  Laid to rest were US Army PFC Joseph A Petrolak, US Army Pvt. Albert A. Walz, US Navy SIC Thomas O.  McMillam, US Army Cpl. Robert E. Corrigan, US Army Cpl. James L. Macaluso, and Vietnam Veterans US Navy SN Gerald E. Palaszynski, and US Navy GMG3 Ronald D. Hanson.  Three hundred people in total attended the event. The Patriot Guard Riders acted as their family.  These services are all across our country.  We must honor and remember our service people.  Try to attend one if you can.  It was an amazing experience.