Wyoming Students Write Thank-You Letters to Firefighters

Red Cross delivers thank-you letter to first responders for Christmas
Josh Rhoten/Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne) Published Thursday, December 22, 2011

CHEYENNE - The letter is buried in the stack, wedged between green and red construction paper cards.

In a box overflowing with letters covered in glitter and drawings, it would be easy to miss, but it describes the collection's intent perfectly.

"I don't know if you are a policeman or firefighter or ambulance worker," it reads in neat handwriting. "But I just want to say thank you."

One of a thousand that will be handed out to first-responders in Cheyenne over the next few days, it was written with a simple goal in mind.

"We wanted to have elementary-school kids reach out to first responders to recognize what they do in the community," says David Block, the CEO of the American Red Cross in Cheyenne, the group organizing the distribution.

About 5,000 cards were made statewide in what Block hopes will become an annual event. They are being distributed this week to ambulance workers, state patrol officers and dispatchers, in addition to police and firefighters.

Cards range from extravagant construction paper-style Christmas cards with glitter and drawings to measured letters on ruled paper.

"Thanks for making Cheyenne a better and safer place," says one. "Thanks for your hard work," says another.

Letters also have questions for the recipients, asking what they do and why. Others just give information about the sender and what they want to do when they grow up.

Spencer Pollock, who works at Red Cross, helped organize the letter drive. He received a letter when he was working as a fireman and thought it would be nice to start that tradition in Cheyenne.

"It meant a lot to me, and everyone else, that the community was reaching back to us to say thank you like that," he says. "That provided a lot of support for us."

Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak says getting these cards at this time of the year is a real boost to officers.

"A lot of time there is a lot of negativity toward officers, so this is really nice for officers to get these kinds of cards," he says. "I'll deliver these to our people ? it's just great."

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