Individuals in the military and law enforcement make it possible for us to live safely in harmony. Although they are certainly deserving of our appreciation, it may be difficult to find the right outlet to show them.
Through the annual Hearts for Heroes community event, both children and adults can thank those protecting us in a special way.
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On Saturday, January 29, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Newhall Community Center Gym, all are encouraged to stop by and make Valentine’s Day cards for our local service men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq, wounded warriors and veterans, firefighters and police officers.
“Since we have several hundred kids that do this and participate, we decided to thank all heroes,” said Suzon Gerstel, an event organizer with Prayer Angels for the Military.
Those who attend will also assemble care packages for troops in memory of Marine Staff Sgt. Joshua Cullins, who was also an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department in the Topanga area. Cullins was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan late last year.
Items needed for the packages include beef jerky, granola bars, drink packets, white or black cotton socks, hands warmers and razors.
Organizers are also asking for postage donations, which are tax deductible.
The local stations for the Los Angeles Country Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department and California Highway Patrol are just a few of the intended destinations for the cards. The cards will also be sent to currently-deployed troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, wounded military members and local veterans.
“We use this as a time where we will get several cards that the kids make to thank the veterans who have served and we’ll mail them here locally to a lot of the World War II vets if we have their information – it’s kind of a nice surprise,” said Gerstel. “Maybe they haven’t gotten that in a while. We’re just always thinking of ways to be appreciative and to show the kids how to appreciate them.
“I try to involve everybody. It’s just kind of nice because people will come on board and participate and it’s just wonderful. It’s nice to work together.”
The Newhall Community Center is located at 22421 Market Street in Newhall, behind the Metrolink Station. Call Suzon at (661) 799-8865 for more information.