She had no idea that a monthly donation to charity would put her in touch with a long-lost relative.
But the organization that Jo Ann Williams supports—Help Hospitalized Veterans, which gives free therapeutic arts & crafts to military and veteran patients, does something special before sending the kits. They put a little white “thank-you” postcard on each one, allowing the patients to thank donors directly.
“When you give to charity you don’t often get to see the result of your donation. But when these kits get delivered and you receive a thank you directly, you know your donation had an impact,” Williams said. The postcard also comes with postage, allowing the veteran to write a message and easily mail the card back to the donor. “I’ve received between 35-40 thank you cards from all over the world. It’s heartwarming to hear from veterans who benefit from my giving.”
Recently, however, Williams received a thank you card in the mail and noticed a familiar family name. Anxious to learn whether or not there was a connection, Williams sent a letter to the return address on the card, inquiring if there was a family tie. There was.
“After a few weeks I received a letter from my cousin, who I’d lost touch with 30 years earlier. It turns out a kit I donated had been given to her son,” Williams reported.
“Thirty years is a long time, so there was a lot of catching up to do,” she added, who also found out that her cousin is well aware of Help Hospitalized Veterans’ (HHV) arts & crafts program, as HHV kits have been received by her son for awhile. “As a donor, I cannot truly express the pride I feel in supporting HHV.”
Since 1971 HHV has provided over 27 million free kits to veteran and military patients. If you are a veteran receiving health care from any commercial, state or federal medical facility, you qualify for HHV’s arts & crafts program. Call (888) 567-VETS (8387) and ask for the Special Projects department at ext. 112.