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WDEZ's Valentines for Troops a huge success

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WDEZ's Vanessa Ryan and Bryan Scott preparing Valentines for shipment to Afghanistan
WDEZ's Vanessa Ryan and Bryan Scott preparing Valentines for shipment to Afghanistan
WDEZ's Vanessa Ryan discusse... (Download MP3)

WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  A small Valentines Day project to cheer up a family member stationed in Afghanistan quickly became a big effort to help several veterans.

Our sister station, Great Country 101.9 WDEZ’s Vanessa Ryan says filling out Valentine cards for the troops started small.  "I have to give credit to my kids, because we have a family member that is stationed in Afghanistan and he has a wife and a nine month old baby that he's left behind.  It's hard, and we're trying to come up with a way to cheer him up.  We decided to make Valentines for him, and my daughters said that they're going to take them to school and have their friends fill them out.  I thought, if their friends want to fill out Valentines and send them over, I bet other people want it too.”

The WDEZ staff started talking about the Valentine card project, and also put the information out on social media and the radio station’s website. Pretty soon, Valentines were filling the mailbox.  "We had Valentines from Maryland.  We had some come in from Virginia and some from South Carolina.  We had them coming from Milwaukee and from all over central Wisconsin, too."

From inception to completion, it lasted two weeks. Listeners and social media followers contributed nineteen boxes of Valentines cards, candy, and surprises. All of the items are being mailed to Camp Jefferson in Afghanistan.

Ryan says Websites for Soldiers provided some advice on what to send and how to get the packages to their destination.

She says they had no idea this project would get so big so fast and have participants from across the country.  "Thank you to everyone who stepped up and helped us out.  It was an overwhelming success and we can't wait to do more.”

The boxes are leaving Friday, and should arrive shortly before Valentines Day.

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