STOW, Ohio (WJW) – Iraq War veteran and Stow City Council President Jeremy McIntire is on a mission.

With Valentine’s Day approaching McIntire is hoping to collect thousands of handwritten cards which will be sent to deployed service members of every branch letting them know they are appreciated.

“Whether or not you are in an active combat zone or just deployed at a U.S. base stationed in Germany or Korea for example it means a lot to get a message from back at home and it means even more to get it from someone you don’t even know,” said McIntire.

When the effort was first started McIntire said he hoped to collect several thousand cards.

To his surprise, he received around ten thousand cards to send to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines overseas.

The cards are sent to organizations that make sure they can get into the hands of servicemen and women who are separated from their families and loved ones while serving.

“You know we have received cards from across the United States, so this hasn’t just been local to Ohio we have received cards as far as Oregon, Texas, and California over the last several years so it’s a movement that’s growing every year,” said McIntire.

The cards are being collected in a box at Stow City Hall and at the organization’s headquarters at 1904 Baker Lane in Stow from now until January 25th.

People wishing to contribute are asked to create handwritten cards or messages no larger than 8 1/2″ x 11″.

The messages should be directed generally to any service member in any branch of the military.

“Nothing is specific to any one particular soldier you know when we launched this we looked at when you want to write a greeting in the card to keep it very general to dear soldier, sailor, marine, airmen, things of that nature because you don’t know where it will end up,” said McIntire.

Creativity is encouraged, although he asks that people do not use glitter in their messages.

The effort also expects to partner with local groups to stage large-scale card-writing efforts.

“In 2020, prior to the pandemic happening, we had a great card-making event here in Stow at City Hall. Last year we partnered with a local coffee house and a lot of people came out and they provided coffee.  We had all the supplies there to make cards and it was just a good fellowship for the community to get together while doing something good,” said McIntire.

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