Project Rudolph gives back

by Katie Bell
Ramstein High School

This holiday season everyone is preparing for shopping, caroling and eggnog. But before you get too excited about what’s going under your tree this year, think of the people who aren’t going to receive any holiday cheer. The holidays are a great time to give back to your community, and Project Rudolph is doing just that.

Project Rudolph is a charity that provides gift bags for military members, including Soldiers who pass through the airport, the Air Force members who keep the airport running, and any injured or deployed troops at the hospital or downrange.

In 2009, Project Rudolph distributed 14,000 Christmas gift bags, and this year their goal is 15,000. Each gift bag is hand-decorated and includes two hand-written letters from children, one hand-written letter from an adult, one non-breakable ornament with “Project Rudolph” written on it, a Christmas poem, and both German and American candy.

Because of their new goal of 15,000 gift bags, more people are needed to help out, especially with letters.

This year they are in need of more than 45,000 hand-written letters. These letters can be addresses “Dear Soldier” or “Dear Servicemember” and can include a drawing, if from a child, with name and age if they are under 10 years old. These letters must be signed (last names are not necessary) and can include a return address.

The letters cannot be dated or have any mention of time of year. They also may not ask about any injury, include any political standpoint, be type-written or photo
copied, be sealed in an envelope, or be unsigned.

Project Rudolph is in need of letters, candy and money to cover the cost of shipping the gift bags. To find out how to become a part of Project Rudolph, contact Kristin Songe, an overseas volunteer and donations coordinator, at PSC 1 Box 2273, APO AE 09009, or contact Tawny Archibald Campbell, international director and founder, at CMR 402 Box 2414, APO AE 09180, or by e-mail at