When Sophie Kartzman started the ‘Cards for Heroes’ campaign to send Christmas cards and greetings to active duty military members overseas and veterans here at home four years ago, she had idea it would grow to have the following it does today.
“We just started out with 100 cards and I thought that was a lot,” Kartzman said. “With how much we’ve gotten so far, I really know what ‘a lot’ is now.”
Kartzman, currently an eighth-grader at the Horseheads Middle School, has raised tens of thousands of cards in the past three years, and as her fourth year of campaigning for cards gets underway, she’s raised her goal yet again.
Last year, Kartzman’s goal was to collect 15,000 cards. She ended up raising 27,000. So this year, Kartzman has doubled the goal to 30,000 cards, and she believes that goal will have no problem being met.
“I’m very confident in that. I think we can everyone to work together and from what we’ve seen before, I think we can do it,” Kartzman said.
The campaigns have grown extensively in size each year. And while Kartzman continues to garner support from her classmates and community, she’s simply hoping to send a message to others.
“This project is about getting kids in our community and the country to volunteer, and to give back to our servicemen and women,” Kartzman said.
And all the while reinforcing support and bringing joy to those who have served our nation, or who are currently doing so, by sending a holiday greeting or a simple ‘thank you’ in the form of a card.
“The impact is definitely great in that veterans receiving cards, whether it’s Christmas cards or a card in general, it means a lot to them, it has great significance,” Retired Army veteran and Bath VA Veterans Program Coordinator Craig Perkins said. “It goes a long way, it brightens up their day, and it gives them that extra ‘oomph’ to continue on and serve our country.”
This year’s campaign is honoring Cas Krolak, a WWII veteran and friend of Sophie’s who died last August.
Sophie did say this year of spearheading the campaign would be her last. She says as she is entering high school next year, she is ‘passing the torch’ to the Horseheads Middle School National Junior Honor Society.
If you’d like to help with the campaign or find a card drop-off location, click here.