Rowan Public Library’s “Cards for a Cause” campaign submissions double

Sergeant First Class Jason Sanders, SFC Marion Hollingsworth Jr., and Staff Sergeant Kristian...
Sergeant First Class Jason Sanders, SFC Marion Hollingsworth Jr., and Staff Sergeant Kristian Benavidez accepted the card deliveries on behalf of Army service members.(Rowan Public Library)
Updated: Dec. 30, 2020 at 7:16 AM EST
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - From Rowan Public Library: The “Cards for a Cause” campaign has become a holiday season tradition at Rowan Public Library. Since the program began in 2015, the number of cards delivered to service members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces has steadily increased, and this year, 4,444 cards were sent, which more than doubles last year’s total.

Participation in “Cards for a Cause” looked a bit different this year. In the past, each RPL branch – RPL Headquarters (Salisbury), RPL East (Rockwell), and RPL South (China Grove) – had stations set up for card-making and delivery. For the 2020 season, kits were pre-prepared by RPL staff and made available for patrons to pick up. Once completed, cards were returned to the branches for delivery. Alternatively, participants could submit cards of their own that had been signed.

As always, the campaign began in October and ran through early December and patrons could designate their cards’ destinations: to current service members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard or to veterans at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center.

There are different submission deadlines during the campaign to accommodate international and Stateside deliveries, and in the past, some cards have traveled as far as Afghanistan. Throughout the campaign, RPL staff routinely sort the cards and arrange delivery to the respective recruiting offices; the offices then forward the cards on to service members. RPL staff deliver cards designated for veterans to the VAMC in Salisbury.

RPL Children’s Associate and “Cards for a Cause” coordinator Tammie Foster was delighted with this year’s turn out. “I am so amazed at all the wonderful people who took time to send a word of encouragement to those who serve,” she said.

Foster recalled one participant, whose husband was a retired veteran, who worked on cards throughout 2020 and, in the end, donated 400 signed cards. The biggest contributor of signed cards was Daisy-Wright Bryant of Lincolnton, whose chapter of the NC Order of the Eastern Star donated 1,000 cards.

“It is absolutely awesome to watch our communities show their appreciation for our military and veterans in the midst of a pandemic,” Foster said. “The cards make such a difference, especially for those spending the holiday alone.”

Local recruiting officers always appreciate the cards and send them on to their service members. “It’s always rewarding to see the positivity this campaign generates,” said Foster. Officers from the Coast Guard even made a special visit to RPL South (China Grove) to thank staff for the cards their service members had received. “They said that the cards would be very much appreciated by those who would open them, especially the new recruits. Words of encouragement help to lift the spirits of those who normally do not get any cards,” she said.

“The Veteran’s Volunteer Services also said thank you to the communities who took the time to participate and send a card to those in the VA Center,” Foster said. “That mail meant a lot to the receivers who haven’t had any visitors.”

In its first year, “Cards for a Cause” collected approximately 230 cards for active service members of the United States Armed Forces. In 2016, more than 800 were collected, and cards were also submitted specifically for veterans, so in 2017, the campaign expanded to include the VAMC, and collected over 1,300 cards. In 2018, that total grew by 100, and then in 2019, the National Guard was added and 2,165 cards were sent.

Initially, the goal for number of signed cards collected in 2020 was 3,000. “To know that we collected 4,444 cards that were sent to active and retired service members is so inspiring,” said Foster.

“Cards for a Cause” is a program that thrives because of community engagement, and Interim RPL South Supervisor Brooke Taylor gives Foster credit for its growing outreach. “Tammie works so hard year-round to grow this program and its reach,” Taylor said.

This year’s community organization participants included Boy Scouts of America (Packs 351 and 476), Kids Next Door Daycare Center, Millbridge Elementary, Shive Elementary, Rockwell Christian School, South and East Rowan YMCA Day Camp Programs, Piedmont Baptist Church AWANA, and various Rowan County home school groups. Submissions were also gathered at the Field of Honor and Trees of Hope Events, both held at the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers Stadium.

The 2021 campaign will officially begin in October. For more information about how you can support this program, contact Foster at

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