NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – One veteran is making sure no veteran is left behind this holiday season by giving them Christmas cards from the community. It may seem simple, but Hope Gilbert says otherwise.
"Nowadays so much of our contact is online. E-mail and Facebook. People don't send Christmas cards like they used to,” Gilbert said.
Her dining room is filled with over 400 of them, ready to be passed out to veterans at the Eugene J. Towbin Hospital in North Little Rock.
"I just thought there's no reason why we can't get enough cards for everybody,” she said.
Gilbert is a veteran herself, volunteering her time at the hospital to care for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
"We all have extra Christmas cards. I get them from a lot of charities. You can buy Christmas cards very inexpensively like at the dollar trees,” Gilbert said.
This holiday season she asks you to also sign a card. Her goal is to collect 700 cards because there are 700 beds at the VA.
"Thank you for your service, Merry Christmas, we hope you have a good new year. Whatever. Just a personal card because they don't have personal contacts sometimes,” Gilbert said.
She said the smallest message can bring the biggest smile to a veteran's face. She asks you just sign your first name.
"So many of them don't have families or friends. They may not get gifts. They may not get visitors,” Gilbert said.
Christopher Luecke with the VA said writing a card is just one way to help a veteran.
"It shows that people really care out there and there are still people that want to give back,” Luecke said. "Anyone who's ever been in the military knows that mail call is very important."
Gilbert said one Christmas card can show a sick veteran they are not alone.
"They were there for us. We need to be there for them,” she said.
Gilbert will deliver the cards to the VA this weekend and at the VFW/VFW Auxiliary Holiday party in the recreational center in North Little Rock on Dec. 8.
If you would like to send a card to a veteran, you can send it to 2200 Fort Roots Drive, North Little Rock, AR 72114.