Soldiers in the 48th Infantry Brigade currently serving in Afghanistan will soon receive messages and gifts of love and gratitude this Valentine’s Day through community donations to the Hearts for Heroes project.
“I think it’s very important for the community to give back,” said Shannon New-Diaz, chair of the local Hearts for Heroes project. “A lot of the cards were handmade from individuals with developmental disabilities and health issues. It’s our way of telling wounded warriors ‘thank you’ for what they have done for our country.”
Georgia Military College Prep School and junior college students and faculty, staff of Central State Hospital’s Craig Center, athletes of the Special Olympics, consumers of the Life Enrichment Center, Oconee Center’s Unity Day Treatment and Community Support Services created thoughtful cards and prayer squares, and donated stuffed animals, chocolate and candy.
“I tried to get our community involved, and we had a lot of support,” New-Diaz said. “I’m really grateful for the support I got from the community and different organizations. Hopefully we can make the project even bigger next year.”
Items were picked up by Lt. Col. Charles Bennett Friday, a GMC 1985 alumnus, and will be distributed to troops in the 48th Infantry Brigade just in time for Valentine’s Day.