A local funeral home is collecting Valentine cards to send to members of the U.S. military stationed overseas.
Jackson, Lytle & Lewis Life Celebration Center partnered with the community, primarily elementary schools, senior facilities and churches for Operation Valentine.
“They create and make homemade Valentine’s Day cards and then we send them to our men and women overseas to make sure that they know they’re not forgotten during this holiday,” said Frank Lewis, owner of the funeral home. “Hope is that as they read them that it boosts their spirits, and again, lets them know they’re not forgotten back home.”
Lewis said the program generates a great response each year.
“The response has been great,” he said. “Every year we have, typically, the same group of people participate again. We’ll get anywhere from three to four boxes that we send overseas.”
The military members love receiving the homemade cards, said Lewis.
“One of the addresses we have is from a woman in town who has a son that’s serving overseas, and he reports back to her how much it means to them,” said Lewis.
The funeral home also has several programs for veterans including Feed Our Heroes, Honor Field and Lunch with a Veteran, Lewis said.
“We have a soft spot in our hearts for veterans,” he said. “There’s no way that we can fully repay the debt that we owe them for the sacrifices they’ve made and their families have made for us and our country for our freedom.”
Lewis said the initial deadline for dropping off cards was 5 p.m. today, but they will continue to accept them for a couple more days if there are people calling or coming in to drop them off. Cards can be dropped off at Jackson, Lytle & Lewis Life Celebration Center, 2425 N. Limestone St. in Springfield.
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