Surprise Boy To Surprise Troops

Did your kids make you a holiday card?  Did they perhaps make cards for their best friends too?  If they were really industrious, they might have made one for each of their classmates.  No matter what, however, if Stephen Goodman reaches his goal, your kids will look like real slackers in comparison.  His plan is to send a holiday card to members of the U.S. Military actively deployed overseas.  All of them.

The fifth-grader from Surprise, Arizona got started when visiting his grandparents last summer.  “My grandpa went to Vietnam and didn’t get any cards, and he felt forgotten,” ten-year-old Stephen said. “And I want the troops to know that they’re not forgotten.”  He started by making more than 200 Fourth of July cards for patients at a local VA hospital but decided he wanted to do more.  He came up with 180,000 as the number of overseas military personnel and set that as his goal.

So far, he and his family have made 15,000 cards and the Kodak Company is donating another 20,000 cards from their Picture Kiosks.  The Vice-President heard about the project and sent his thanks along as well.  “It just said thank you for what I’m doing,” says Stephen, and that “the soldiers will appreciate it.”  He added that “it made me feel very excited knowing that the vice president sent me something.”

Flora Mae Statler, who founded the town in 1938, named it Surprise because she “would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much.”  I think that when Stephen accomplishes his task, she can definitely consider herself surprised.

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