PHOENIX — Volunteers from the U-Haul corporate towers and Tech Center recently joined forces in counting, packing, labeling and shipping more than 60,000 Fall Tribute Journey greeting cards. The cards went to veterans and military service members across the U.S. and Canada, as well as ships deployed at sea.
Tribute Journey greeting cards are expressions of appreciation, handcrafted by Gold Star Mother and artist Kathryn Cross. The cards also serve as a tribute to her son, OSSN Tyler J. Connely, who gave his life while serving his country.
Each year, Cross creates new illustrations and poetic verses for six holiday seasons. Since 2009, U-Haul has partnered with Cross to print and ship Tribute Journey cards.
The Tribute Journey Card Project has grown successfully year after year, and the card requests have gone from hundreds to many thousands. The tremendous growth has made it necessary for U-Haul volunteers to lend a hand in the distribution efforts.
These volunteer opportunities are now known as Tribute Journey Card “packing parties.” They have quickly become one of U-Haul Company’s newest traditions of working as a team to support our veterans and troops. In addition to U-Haul printing and shipping the cards, volunteers now count the cards and envelopes, and pack and label all of the boxes for shipments.
Norm Dudley, senior program manager at U-Haul Tech Center, made the event an energetic effort at the recent packing party.
“It’s always fun for my team to be a part of something that makes a difference, especially in people’s lives,” Dudley states. “I’m glad we had the opportunity to be a part of such a cool experience. Hats off to the organizers of the event for doing what’s right for our troops!”
Currently, Team U-Haul volunteers are helping to distribute more than 400,000 Tribute Journey cards annually.
Holidays for Heroes
NEW YORK CITY — This year, Cross and U-Haul teamed up with the USO, another longtime U-Haul charity partner, during their 7th annual Holiday for Heroes event at Yankee Stadium in New York. The event appropriately coincided with Veterans Day week.
Some 250 volunteers from many organizations assembled 5,000 care packages that went to troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Djibouti. Fall Tribute Journey greeting cards were among the many heartfelt items that went into the care packages.
The USO Holidays for Heroes event was an amazing display of high-energy teamwork. It was also an opportunity for Cross and U-Haul to reach more active duty troops through the Tribute Journey project.
In addition, U-Haul proudly donated all of the boxes and packing supplies for the USO project.
Do you know of any veterans organizations or non-profits that would enjoy receiving Tribute Journey cards? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.