100 Letters and Counting

By Edgar Alvarez, American Red Cross Volunteer

Meet 12-year old Payton, from El Paso!

Even with the recent changes interrupting her the normal routine, this big-hearted pre-teen has found a way to be constructive. After learning about the American Red Cross’s Service to the Armed Forces “Thank A Hero” program, Payton took pen to paper and, within 5 days, had authored 100 thank you letters to American service members in active duty all over the world.

The year-round “Thank a Hero” program is open to anyone willing to spare a moment to thank American military service members and bring smiles to their faces. In Payton’s case, there’s family history here. Her grandparents were both military officers, and she was introduced to “Thank a Hero” by her mother, Anne, who heard about it from other American Red Cross volunteers. Anne was captivated by the “Thank a Hero” concept and immediately knew it would be a good fit for her daughter. Anne’s simple request of Payton to “write something legible,” exploded when Payton found she truly enjoyed the assignment. Payton put her heart into writing personalized letters to as many service members as possible. “I appreciate our military service members and their families… without them, our world wouldn’t be the same” says Payton. Anne goes on to say “I knew how much she liked writing, but this was something else.”

Like so many generous American Red Cross volunteers, Payton hopes to continue using her passion for good. She has raised the bar even higher by committing herself to completing 500 letters by the end of the summer. Payton has also set a goal of getting her school involved with the “Thank a Hero” program, hoping her classmates will find the project as rewarding as she has.

When asked if she would like to become an American Red Cross volunteer one day, she says, “I’m looking forward to it, because it’s an organization that I believe is really good.”

To check out ways you can help, go to the volunteer role finder page https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/volunteer-role-finder.html and make a difference in your community.

Author: American Red Cross Central & South Texas Region

The American Red Cross Central & South Texas Region provides humanitarian services -- including disaster relief, services to the armed forces and CPR/first aid training -- to 83 counties in the state of Texas. Chapter offices are located in Waco, Bryan, Austin, San Antonio, Kerrville, Midland and El Paso.