On the back of this book, A Million Thanks, it reads:
"In March 2004, high school freshman Shauna Fleming invited 1,100 schoolmates to join her in "A Million Thanks," a campaign to collect and distribute one million letters of appreciation to current and past military men and women at home and overseas. Within six months, she received the one millionth letter. Since then, she has raised her goal to 1.4 million letters, one for each member of the U.S. armed services."This book tells the story of Shauna's achievement and it inspired me to share it with the boys and girls from my church during a children's message a few weeks ago. I gave them paper and asked them to write a thank you to a soldier, and that when we got several ready, we would send them to the troops we currently send CARE Packages to several times a year.
Last week I asked the kids how many letters they thought we could collect. One little boy going into first grade boldly suggested 300 while another little girl thought we could collect 400 letters. These kids don't have a concept of 300 - 400 letters. : )
Since my conversation with the kids on Sunday, I have continued to think about Gratitude, A Million Thanks, achieving something bigger than you dream, taking a daring step...
I don't think it is unrealistic to set a goal of 1000 letters (actually, I would like to set a goal of a number over 2000, but I'm afraid they might throw their hands up, thinking I have finally gone off the edge.)
Boggstown PC will be celebrating its 180th year of ministry in October of this year. Sunday, I am going to continue talking with about having a goal of having A LOT of letters ready to be mailed to our military men and women by Homecoming. If any of you have suggestions for a target number...I'm listening!
It would be great if you asked your children or your grandchildren to write a thank you and maybe draw a picture of something they love...a blessing for which they are grateful. You can see from the examples, these letters don't have to be fancy.
You might wonder what the response has been from the men and women who receive these letters of gratitude. A few examples:
"It is very uplifting for us when we hear stories about people back in the US that are going out of their way to support us, both at home and while we are forward deployed."
"Thank you for your kindness and support. I really appreciate all of the words and prayers that I receive."
"It never stops to amaze me how there are people like you back home, dedicating your time and efforts in appreciation to soldiers deployed overseas."
I know not everyone who is following along with me on this journey lives in the United States...but I am willing to bet that regardless of where you live, you have service men and women serving your country...away from their friends and family and that these people would be equally as pleased to receive a simple thank-you.
I will admit to thinking about writing this post all day and thinking of reasons why I should forget it! Yet, this evening, as I am ready to hit "publish"....I feel good about my decision of using my thoughts of gratitude and blessing...and then doing something to be a blessing to others.
I'm not sure if I will keep you posted in this blog, or create another page...I'll see if the church gets any letters!
A song by Ray Boltz has been filling my heart as I've written this post:
Thank You! I am blessed to have the resources to ask for your help in helping the Boggstown congregation make a few ripples of gratitude!
Many Blessings ~ Sandi