Operation Letters to Soldiers is a way to let those in the military know you care, all sent through a local special mailbox.
The mailbox sits in Veterans Square in downtown Lancaster and includes free shipping paid for by local sponsors.
Carla Schorr said her uncle, father and brother-in-law all served in the military and the idea slowly evolved.
“I started thinking about and trying to put it together mentally it last summer,” Schorr said.
She stops by the mailbox every other day and picks up letters, dropping them off at the USO.
She said the idea is very popular at schools and the mailbox travels so students have the chance to drop their special letter through the slot.
“I just love our community, I just love it,” she said.
She said she knows many families with a member deployed in the military.
“I see the fear in those parents eyes. Their kids are going to the other side of the world alone, leaving everything they know behind them,” Schorr said.
The price is right too.
“They can bring it down here and put it in the mailbox, there is no postage necessary. We have sponsors paying for all the postage going out,” said Schorr. “Just leave the destination part of the front of your envelope empty and the USO will fill that in to make sure it goes to a soldier! If you would like, you can put a return address in your letter in all hopes that you can build a friendship through letters and hopefully to reunite when our soldiers come home.”
The sponsors include Rise Realty and the non-profit organization called Key to Giving based in Lancaster.
The mailbox was put in place April 2nd and will be at the corner of Main and Broad Streets through September 30.
It has been very popular on Facebook too, being shared more than 400 times.
Her son renovated the box, local artist Tony Thompson painted it by hand and another company added the clear coats to protect it from the weather.
Local volunteers are affiliated through the group “Key To Giving” giving in other ways too like prom dresses for girls from Fairfield County. PB and J, which collects 200 bags of donated food per month for children to take home. And the organization is also affiliated with Hustle Hope, a second chance for rehabilitated addicts.
To learn more about Operation Letter to Soldiers or the other groups visit “Key to giving” on Facebook or click on this link.