Our Second Annual "Operation Ensuring Christmas" is underway in a big way.  Last year we were able to raise $1,359 for shipping 150 boxes to 150 Active Duty Army Soldiers in a remote area on their 3rd 15 month tour in Iraq away from their families.  Thank you Blackhawk Squadron for the Thank YOu Plaque of Appreciation. 

This year we are hoping to send 1,500 of our Utah Servicemen and women serving in Iraq at Christmas time a package with 1,000s of Christmas cards made by Utah SchoolS and Military Children. We will also include letters, cards and donations from all over the country we receive daily.  We need volunteers to coordinate contacting schools in all Utah School Districts and picking up the cards at each school or district office if that is possible by Nov. 25th. We also need volunteers to pick up and make Letter Boxes to take to high traffic businesses for letters and donations for shipping.  Shipping 1,500 Flat Rate Boxes USPS will cost approximately $15,000. Governor Hunstman referred us to his military affairs liaison Lisa to help us work on a fundraiser, but if you have any other suggestions, please contact us.  The more working on this effort the better.  Thank you Governor Huntsman for coming as our honored guest to introduce the Artists with Miss Utah Jill Stevens at our Operation Ensuring Christmas Concert.

We wish to start thanking all those that are already donating items for us to ship to our Troops serving overseas at Christmas: Some items that can be donated are: Jerky, Dried Fruit, Nuts, Dry packet soups,  dry energy/vitamin/protein drinks, Gold Bond Foot Powder, Pure White Ankle Socks, CDs, DVDs, computer games, DVD players, Ipods, Mp3s, Phone Cards, Baby Wipes in soft plastic packs, dental floss, hand warmers, dry instant sore muscle cold/hot packs, Tiger Balm, dry nonperishable individual snacks, no chocolate please, Word puzzle books, paperback books, magazines, microwavable popcorn, top ramen, mac n Cheese, zip lock bags of all sizes.  ( We have enough books and Cds, but could use some Christmas DVDs,and other items on this list please) We need to call businesses for funds for shipping costs and need volunteers to contact We need items like Gold Bond, Wipes in soft packages, personal hygiene products for men and women, prilosec, tums, vitamins, jerky, dried fruit, nuts...

People keep asking what will be in the care packages so far:

Neways Personal Care Products, calling cards, "THe Christmas Box" books, Deseret Books, Christmas Cards made by children, Home Made STockings, Card Café Card making supplies, Tahitian Noni products, CDs of Side Out, Angela Winston, Margo Watson and other artists of Utah, Sees Candies, DVDs of Operation Ensuring Christmas Concert,  Peace is Coming Painting Cards,

we still need nuts, jerky, wipes, Gold Bond, Vitamins, Hot Chocolate packs, and more Christmas DVDs.

NEWAYS Natural Personal Care Products that donated Shampoos, Conditioners, Lotions, Shaving Creams and Deodarants for 150 soldiers (950 total) last year has pallets of products sitting in the warehouse waiting."3 pallets are ready in their warehouse for pick up" if anyone has way to pick up for us and take to UPS location in SLC that has volunteered to package all 1,500 boxes!

TAHITIAN NONI has offered pallets of Soft Noni Chews and will drive them from their warehouse to where we need it. 

Richard Paul Evans and Associates, The 5 time Best Selling  Author of The Christmas Box, has offered to donate 1,000 paperback copies of "The Christmas Box" books they will be dropping off to our location. 

Many wonderful moms are making items like:

Gina in West Jordan is knitting caps and socks for our servicemen and women that just left with the ARmy Reserve 328th Hospital Unit.

We need 1,500 Christmas Stockings hand made preferably.  Miniature Christmas trees with lights and decorations, Christmas Card making supplies, wrapping paper and more. 

*If you are able to volunteer or donate to this Huge and Special effort, please contact us at (appts. for warehouse drop offs: "RCWilley" SLC RC Willey warehouse accepting donation drop offs of items. The Christmas Concert Nov. 5th DVDs will be available for minimum donation of $25 soon. Get your orders in at  



*Large Painting by Jon McNaughton "Peace is Coming"

*BYU FOOTBALL TEAM SIGNED MEMORABILIA,   Signed Official BYU Football signed by the Football players with their number, BYU Football Team helmet signed by Wide Receiver, Nice Coach's Jersey like coach Mendenhall wears, BYU 2008 Football book, BUY Duffle Bag, BUY Big "Y" Banner, BYU Flag, BYU Cougars Sweatshirt, BYU T-shirt, BYU Football Calendars, smaller football signed also. Thank you EJ BYU AThletic Academics Director for helping us.

*500 shopping spree at MACYS Department Store at University Mall

*Air Hockey table donated by RCWilley, Click here for more items to Bid on




Click Jill Stevens' and One Voice Children's Choir's picture to see pictures of the concert!  Thank you to all who donated including our Generous Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. and First Lady Mary Kaye Huntsman for your donation and wonderful address.

Our UTah Commander in Chief Governor Huntsman has accepted to introduce our Fundraising Concert. Thank you so much Governor!

""Denise D.

The Governor will be happy to provide some welcoming remarks at the beginning of this event."



DVDs of concert will be available for minimum donation of $25 soon. Get your orders in at:  


Donations for shipping costs can be donated here:

Your donation will help us ship what soldiers need most - messages and packages of things made from home.   

Congratulations First 20 backstage Pass Winners: Linda and family, Char, Steve, Kevin and family, Victoria and son, Dorothy, Mitchell, Dixie and Clayton! "Thank you so much for the backstage  Should I be there earlier then 6:45 to go backstage" Dorothy

Our Deployed Military families will also get to meet our wonderful singers.


All Public ticket sales as of today are being sold at

Thank you SMithstix for offering 1/2 your fee for handling tickets at: Tickets for $12.50 of concert on laptop


MACY'S DEPARTMENT STORE IN UNIVERSITY MALL "BIG TWO DAY EVENT NOV. 20,21 to RAISE $10,000 MORE FOR THE UTAH MIILTARY DEPLOYED TO GET CHRISTMAS"  Come in and bring a donated item, donations to help us meet our goal of $15,000 for cost of shipping the care packages to 1,500 Utah military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and come make a card with your kids for our Utah Military. Giveaways, and more!! Nov. 20 Angela Winston sings and signs CDs at 6:30pm followed by a really cool fashion show, Fri. Nov. 21st Allison Janisse will sing at 6:30pm followed by the fashion show and then a special Music Video accompanied by Allison at 8pm and she will sign CDs and Concert DVDs.


WE REALLY NEED VOLUNTEERS THAT CAN DO CALLING to businesses asap!!! Sign up at  Thank you RC Willey for drop off in SLC of donated items. Thank you Utah County Community Action Food BAnk of Provo for offering your warehouse and we will also share food and other items with the families of Utah

Thank you Jim Thomas of the Utah County Food Bank for sharing your warehouse for our collections. We will be so thrilled to donate all items that cannot be shipped to our military overseas to the Food Bank. Please support our local food banks:

Community Action Services and Food Bank:
Food bank serving Utah, Wasatch and Summit counties

815 S. Freedom Blvd. Suite 100
Provo, UT 84601
Phone: (801) 373-8200
Fax: (801) 373-8228 Contact Person: Jim Thomas email, phone:801-592-7832

Donations for shipping  being accepted here at

Wednesday November 5th Operation Ensuring Christmas Benefit Concert at Studio 600 was really beautiful: DVDs of the concert will be available for minimum donation of $25 soon. Get your orders in by at:  





Miss Utah/National Guard SGT. Jill Stevens is our Honored Guest.


"Ben Truman, up and coming EFY singing artist to perform songs from “Joseph, A Nashville Tribute” from his new CD with his father,

Dan Truman, keyboardist of DIAMOND RIO to sing "In God We Trust!"


#1 on  Independent Network Charts’ Tribute to Our Troops - "Every Day I'm Hangin' On" by #1 on the World Charts' Canadian singer Allison Janisse if coming from Canada to sing and  to help 1,500 US Troops from Utah in Iraq and Afghanistan get Christmas Care Packages and thank the 1000s of Utah Military Families Nov. 5th . 

LIsten to The Eagle, KBULL and KSOP stations for interviews.  Golden Corral Orem Utah on University Pkwy. 4 pm to 9pm is hosting Free Military Veterans Buffet dinners with lines out the door, and Allison JAnisse will be singing and signing CDs.  We will also have our Operation Ensuring Christmas Concert DVDs for sale and autographs.

Co-Writers of song: Carmella Inchierchiera

Come watch this moving Music Video at: After being #1 for 3 weeks on this chart, Everyday I'm Hangin'on is #2.

UPS to do a special delivery:


One Voice Children's Choir was originally known as the 2002 Winter Olympic Children’s Choir. They share a unique blend of original, inspirational music and arrangements written by our composer, Masa Fukuda. They provide a forum for children to cultivate a love of music and build self-confidence through achievement and teamwork.


Gospel/RnB Sensation Angela Winston will be headlining,


United We Stand

Love Will Prevail - by Angela Winston
MP3 - 3.4 MBCome listen to other great Gospel songs by Angela at "Don't Save it All for Christmas Day" & How Great Thou Art "Because I Have Been Given Much"

From the album - United We Stand  (She will be doing a Christmas Concert at Rose Wagner Theatre in December too with the Osmonds 2nd Generation.)


 and The Moleni B rothers and

  Jaden Bliss, , and Margo Watson will be singing Soprano Broadway songs, LanternLane  "My Prayers are With You Soldier",   and




Drew Reese


Our "MC" host and Director of the Concert, Rick Lindsay of  was in BYU's Young  Ambassadors and assisted in Voice and production direction along with having won a number of broadcasting awards..

LIfelong Memories Films is making our 30 second TV Spot and will be filming the Christmas Concert. DVDs of this special event can be ordered here for $25 with proceeds going to Shipping more packages.




Updates of those participating in Operation Ensuring Christmas:

Requests & Replies from Chaplains and our soldiers of 6 units we are shipping to :


11/09/08”I am a Program Assistant at a Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club and I'd love for my kids to be a part of what you are doing. What do I do with the letters/cards they make?”

Shanna Bolerjack

Program Assistant

 Thank you for offering me the DVD for my donation.  Thank you for letting me know that you received the donation though.

  I have never donated online before and was not quite sure if the electrons would arrive in the proper in-basket!


Pat P.

PS WHEN is the latest that you can mail stuff and still have it arrive? We will be getting paid soon, and if it is not too late I'd like to give you more postage money.”

11/07/08 “I heard about your website on KUTV2. Our ladies group at church just held a holiday boutique and the theme was "Red, White & Blue Christmas" to honor our troops. Christmas cards were set out for attendees to sign. Also, our first grade class is going to make Christmas cards for soldiers as their Veterans Day activity.

Could you please advise where to send or drop off these cards.

Thank you for your assistance and the good work you are doing, Cheryl Illario"

"I am the VP of a Elementary school in Las Vegas, and the kids here are wanting to help stuff stocking for the soldiers over seas. But we dont know who to contact or where we would need to send this stuff and or what they even need.

If you could contact me by either email or by calling me ASAP I would appreciate it.


Amanda Shockley"

"Hello my name is Sophie Hall. I am wanting to send Christmas cards to soldiers. I have an elementary school and a jr. high that wants to help me. I am just wondering what the best way for me to do this is. If you could let me know as soon as possible that would be great!
           Sincerely, Sophie Hall"

11/05/08 If you have an old cell phone you don’t need, send it to Cell Phones for Soldiers and they will turn it into calling cards for soldiers.


Could you please send us an address to where we can send you 1500 prepaid calling cards for your troops?

Thank you for what you are doing!

Brittany Bergquist

Co-founder, CPFS
Cell Phones for Soldiers
243 Winter Street
Norwell, MA 02061
781-659-7789  Home



Happy morning after concert!


It was a great concert last night; I took your advice and took my wife for her birthday.


Once you have recovered, I have two questions:


1- I will have the Card Café discount cards printed and ready to put in the packages soon. Where do you want us to deliver them?


2- The president of our company is in charge of a church activity where they will be writing letters to soldiers.  He of course would like to give them to you for distribution.  Do you have any suggestions, criteria, or parameters that you would suggest as they do this?




Randy G. Barney

Business Development Manager

Card Café


Dear Denise,


Can I just say, the show last night was absolutely BEAUTIFUL, INSPIRING, BREATHTAKING, AND OH SO HEALING!  I think words cannot even describe the feelings of goodwill, and joy that were ever present. Your beautiful efforts, and loving heart again paid off.  It just keeps getting more and more spectacular.  I just hope and pray that more and more, and more people will start enjoying the benefits of supporting our troops.

It was a privilege to be a part of this wonderful show. Thank you for inviting me to perform with the other wonderful performers.  

Thank you for everything you did to put this together. GOD LOVE YOU.

How close did you come to your goal?  That is so amazing that our own governor would put forth his own money too in helping send these packages. 


Take it easy today you amazing woman you. 






My son Hayden is planning an Eagle project.


He wants to collect music CDs from various local artists.  We anticipate collecting between 2,000 and 3,000 CDs.


He wants to attach a "thank you" note on 1/2 of the CDs so they can be sent to the soldiers. He wants to donate the rest to an organization to be sold to pay for shipping costs to get them in the soldiers hands.


Would you be interested in accepting these donations to your organization to help your great cause?

I am a teacher.  I'm also the lead singer of Joshua Creek. I believe I actually met and talked to you at a benefit concert in Lehi at Willow Creek Middle School.


We're going to try to get the project approved this evening so that we can start ASAP.


If we collect 2,000 CDs, how many of them would you want held out to sell?  He will attach a note to each of the rest of them. I have access to a lot of them right away. We can get them to you quickly if you need them for anything.

If you would like, we can package the CDs in envelopes with letters inside.  If it's easier for you, we can just bring you the CDs that will be send in boxes of 100 with a note attached. You can then put them together with other care package items.


 I will call you later when I get a break from teaching my classes.





Thank you for putting together the wonderful concert. I too, wish more people were there. I did put some money in the donation box to help out.

Drew Reese is coming to our school to sing for Veteran's Day and I was wondering if it would be possible to get a copy of the slides that were shown while he and others were singing. The pictures made it so much more powerful and I would like the students to get an idea of what our troops are doing for us. Would that be possible?


Jennifer Yorgesen

Willowcreek Middle School




I am the Manager of a local Sleep Number bed store in Columbia Missouri and would like to set up a small in-store event where we stop local Mall shoppers and ask them to write a thank-you note to a soldier on behalf of Veteran's Day.
I would like to request some information on how I can get these letters to you to send to the troops.  Will I send them to you, is there a local drop off area etc?  Any additional information you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Stuart Cunningham


We had a great turnout the other night at our event. We should have about 50 stockings and letters done right away. How can I get them to you? I hope your event went well.

Let me know if you need anything else.

shelley s.


Our "emptynesters" family night group wrote letters in Christmas cards for the soldiers this week and we would like to send them to you for distribution. Please send the address so we can.


We are looking to write letters to soldiers this Christmas season and wanted to know if you could help our school get these letters out to the troops?

We want to open this up to our whole school.  Could you send me any information on what needs to be done to get these letters to your orginazation?  Thanks.


Mr. Douglas Wyatt

6th Grade Teacher

Cascade Elementary


Can we still bid on this painting? Or

 was last night when it ended?




Susan A.

Lead Secretary

Cedar Ridge Elementary

Thanks for all you do. You are great!


Mrs. Hadfield's  6th grade


HI, my name is Miss Murphy.  I teach third grade at Gearld Wright Elementary in West Valley City, UT.  Our principal, Ms. Laughlin sent us this e-mail.  I think my students would have a lot of fun doing this projects, so could you please send me more information about it?

                                     Thanks so much,

                                             Miss Murphy, third grade teacher, Gearld Wright Elementary


Thank you for all you have done for our soldiers!


I am an elementary school teacher in Reno, Nevada.  I have a few students writing hand written letters to our troops.  Would you please give me the address I could send these to?


I was thinking of sending them as Happy Thanksgiving letters, but would it be better to have the kids write them as Christmas letters since I imagine it will take a while for them to get to our troops?


Thanks again,

Julia Biasi

Special Education Student Teacher

Diedrichsen Elementary School


We would like to know what we can do here at the school as a school.  Please let us know!

Thank you,

Codi Block Alpine School


My name is Barbara Williams, an instructor at Kirby High School.  My Keyboarding class completed an assignment to create and mail letters to the troops.  However, we are unable to find out how to mail or address the letters.  I am asking for assistance in finding the address that many use to mail letters that have been designed from the computer in color.  Many of my students have never done this before.  We want to address the letters to any soldier. Do we need a generic address?  I think that a generic address would be better so that the letters can be distributed to any soldier.  I will await your reply.  We wanted to get the letters off before Thanksgiving. 


I am a Langauge Arts teacher in Marysville and next week my studetns will be honoring Veterans Day by writitng letters to our heros in war, as well as past heros home.  I need to know how to get these letters to our men and women fighting for us today. Please e-mail me what I can do with our letters.


Thank you and God Bless

Amy Armstrong


Hello! My name is Melanie and I am a student teacher. I am doing a lesson with my 4th graders this Friday 11/7 about Veteran's Day and I wanted to have them each write a letter to a soldier. I came across your website and was very touched by it. I was wondering how I could send the letters that my students will write to the soldiers. What are the guidelines for writting a letter? Thank you so much for your help. God Bless!

Melanie Haller
Hey Denise,

Did you happen to recieve our RSVP for the concert? I guess that we will be in Salt Lake around 5:00 P.M. on Wenesday we have been looking forward to this for along time now. We just hope that everything goes well.


Barbara W”

“ just wanted to find out how I can volunteer to help out!


Deneen J.”

"I have a lot of stuff that the ladies of my church collected.  We have jerky, instant oatmeal, candy, batteries, female sanitary napkins, granola bars, and lots of other things, I would like to donate these to your cause if possible.  Please let me know were I can drop them.
Thank you,"
Jes Shepherd

"Thanks for all you do. You are great!"

Mrs. Hadfield's 6th grade

 Thank you KSL:
















Related Links

- Letters to Soldiers fundraising concert information




Christmas fundraiser for troops scheduled for Wednesday

November 3rd, 2008 @ 5:53pm

By Jed Boal

Fifteen hundred American soldiers will enjoy a special Christmas thanks to a fundraising concert Wednesday.

"Operation Ensuring Christmas" will send Christmas packages to Utah soldiers and others in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Sgt. Drew Howells

The support organization will put on a benefit concert Wednesday night at Studio 600. The performance features local and national talent, including singing Sgt. Drew Howells.

"Those are my friends out there. I'm back here with their families, and I see how difficult it is. Whatever I can do to support them and their families back here, it's the least I can do," Howells said.

"All this is our love to our troops of Utah to say, ‘Thank you. We haven't forgotten. We don't want you to be without Christmas,'" said Denise DeVynck, with Letters to Soldiers.

To find out more about the concert, click the related link to the right of the story.


and Fox13

Letters to Soldiers - Operation Ensuring Christmas Fundraiser


Last Edited: Tuesday, 04 Nov 2008, 2:58 PM MST

Created: Saturday, 01 Nov 2008, 4:20 PM MDT

Seen on TV



Related Items



To learn more about Letters to Soldiers and buying tickets for their upcoming fundraising concert - Operation Insuring Christmas, visit them online at:


See sidebar to view video.

 for interviewing us about our concert. Jed Boal of KSL you are our friend. And KSL and KJZZ Cafe in am watch 10am for Drew Reese singing his song about our flag.

Susan Alleman brought over 100 home made stockings made by her grandchildren, decorated the concert hall  with her daughter that is serving in Iraq with beautiful Christmas trees. Shawn of Taylor audio and Evan of STudio 600 spent over 7 hours setting up sound system to be perfect with Drew Reese getting sound just right as our performers rehearsed. Thank you all that helped

Military Relations will have 3 representatives at the concert

 as well as Don Hullenger.  See you tonight—I’ll make a donation at the door.

Thanks for all your work.

Frank Clawson

To Whom It May Concern:


We are discussing Veterans Day in our sixth grade social studies classes.  As a culminating activity, we would like to write letters to our soldiers on Iraq.  Upon searching the Internet, I found your website.  Could you please provide me with information regarding sending letters to the troops?  We will be hand-writing them; therefore, I would like an address of where to send them once we have finished.  In addition, is it likely that any soldiers will have an opportunity to write back?  I would imagine this would be a wonderful experience.


Thank you for your time and consideration.




Alyssa Mortimer

Carson Middle School

Sixth Grade English, Reading, and Social Studies

The IDT Center of Christus St. Joseph Villa is interested in helping you with Christmas for our Troops.


We do not have money donations (potential is there) but we do have man power and we will collect donations of items on your list.


It would be helpful if we could have a contact name and number of someone from your organization who will help us facilitate our efforts.  As far as contacts here at the Villa, primary contact person is myself, Linda Maestas, @ (801) 487-7557, extension 3117.  Next would be Barbara Castillo, Social Services-(801) 487-7557, extension 3119, and Hailey Hadean, Director of Resident Activities-(801) 487-7557, extension 3110.


We look forward to hearing from you ASAP.  We will be having a meeting to discuss the planning of how we will proceed with helping on November 11, @ 1:30 p.m.


Please let me know a deadline date, as well, so we can fine tune the efficiency in getting you help.


I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Respectfully submitted,


Linda Maestas, Director of Medical Records St. Joseph Villa


Thank you Sandra and team at Ft. Douglas 96th Army Reserve, Marilyn, Mr. Young, Jennifer Yorgensen, Shawn of Taylor Audio, and Evan for the PA system, Tamra for helping me, Renee, Patti and Greg for doing it all,  Susan and her daughter who's husband is serving in Iraq for doing so much for the families and decorating. Viv of Imperial Weddings for decorating the Stage and and all other volunteers helping with calling and put out flyers. And all the wonderful volunteers around the state that made this possible.





" Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 15:54:32 -0600
From: rogb
 Subject: [OH8 Oak Hills 8th singles ward] Concert to send Christmas packages to soldiers

 Hola brothers and sisters,
Just a reminder about the concert that that Denise D. (a regular visitor  and roommate of Esther in the ward) has organized to help send packages to our service men and women over in Iraq.
 You can find info here:
 The church asked her to make sure that all LDS service men and women get something so they donated a $1000 to help get it going.
 There's still a lot of money that needs to be raised so if you can come
 next Wednesday, Nov 5th, please purchase a ticket to help out.
 You can buy tickets at Click on Nov. 5th and then
 it's "Operation Ensuring Christmas Concert".

 NOTE: Want to carpool to the concert? Yes, it's in SLC. We'll meet at
the church at 5:00pm next Wednesday. Reply if you'll be coming and if  you can drive.










we will be here at this address until 15 JAN 09: ...


Thank you for all of your support.. my soldiers really appreciate your service. It is uncommon and has not gone unnoticed."







Camp Liberty, Iraq

11/06/08 Thank you General Harrison for coming to greet the families of those deployed at the concert. You were so gracious and the singer Allison JAnisse’ little boy loved going up on stage with you.

From our 328th Hospital Unit of Army Reserve we said farewell to a few months ago:

W reached our post and have

a mailing address.  I was wondering who I contact so my soldiers be supported by your services.






328th DET 40 COMMANDER Camp Liberty, Iraq


"Where are you located at? I had a son just come home from Afghanistan. I live in West Valley City, Utah. I would like to help. Where are these men stationed at and what service are they in? DAvid"

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE

Good Morning,

Major General Cooke is available. What time do you need him there.V/r

-----Original Message-----

From: Stayer, Sandra J Ms USAR 96TH RRC

Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 7:56 AM

To: Cooke, Peter S MG USAR 96TH RRC

Subject: Concert Nov 5

Pardon the interuption Sir,

I need you to view the attached flyer.

The Governor's office said the Governor "got the time or date" or whatever mixed up and now cannot appear tomorrow night to welcome all the families to this concert which is to benefit 1,500 Utah soldiers deployed for Christmas (to raise airfare and postage for care packages and letters) Denise and I have worked really hard to put this together and we really need an Official to welcome these families to the concert.

Rick from the "Breeze" is going to be the MC.

Do you have time and energy to be our Official tomorrow night?

Please let me know. Thanks.

I appreciate your time.

Sandra Stayer, Counseling Support

11/03/08 From Chaplain MOntoya's wife:

Hello there,

I am coming with my children. Thank you for hosting this. The word has been spreading… Prayers continue to ask for help in people coming and donating and supporting our troops. Thanks for all you are doing!"


From Utah 116th FRG leader and friend:

"Thanks, Denise. We are planning on coming, and will be bringing a number of items that were recently donated by an Eagle Scout in Lehi


I have also been sending out your flyers to our FRG ladies, as have the rest of the UTNG Family Programs people.  I'm looking forward to it.





Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE

We did receive the letters and they were passed out, thank you very much. We do some much appreciate your support and the support of your organization.


LT Markel

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED


 I received your package of letters.  Thank you. 

 I understand your limitations regarding sending 1000 packages for Christmas.  Whatever you send will be great.  Just knowing that people are praying for us and thinking of us means a lot.


 Chaplain Brandon S. Harding
Task Force 1/3
Regimental Combat Team - 1

10/31/08 We are so thrilled and honored that families of the National Guard 142nd unit deployed in Afghanistan are RSVPing to come as our honored guests to the concert Nov. 5th

"you have done an amazing job and you are an amazing lady.  I am impressed by your heart in this project and I am blessed to have met you  and being given the opportunity to help you continue your work that is so important.  I made a new site for us on digital rodeo tonight that will get the music artists behind us.  it has all your info , links, organization ect..and what you are doing.  We are just a group of artists, songwriters, musicians, record companies, etc. who are going to help you get the money you so badly need.  God willing...this is going to go National setting up benefit shows to raise the money for your fund.  You have a lot more people than you think behind you on this one.

I am just one of many....I just happened to come into your life at the right time and everything you are already doing is what we all want to do.  You are making a huge difference... your time has not been wasted and I Promise you that we will back you 100% in all your efforts.  You are awesome..and I mean that from my heart...and as a mother of a soldier..I send you hugs for caring so deeply.  Hugs Tamra"

 (Tamra Lynn Smith, Mother of Utah Soldier and songwriter of "Everyday I'm Hangin On")



"Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE

Live for Iraq

I would like to thank you all for your support of myself and all the other Utah Service Members here in country. Being away from my family is hard and it would even be harder if the American public was not supporting the Troops. I know that the history the people of Utah for always having big hearts and are always ready to support those in need.

Again thank you so much, May God bless you all and watch over you.



Garrison Life Support Officer"

10/29/08 142nd National Guard FAmilies were grateful that Mariposa stores donated clothes and coats for their kids:

We love these kids and we love these families!!!


" I will pass that on to Pete. Thank you and please thank all the wonderful people who will be participating in this activity. I am honored to render my service for such wonderful Patriots like you."

Sincerely, James A. Montoya

Chaplain (Major) UTARNG

I met the mother of Sgt. Peter Schultz last night. When she saw me writing my script for a radio 30 second spot about our concert, she told me she was so grateful I was sending letters and stuff to our troops and that her son was in the ARMY, and a Green Berret on his 2nd Tour. Her name is Janet G.. She told me she would love to help make some of the 1,500 Christmas Stockings we are sending and she is such a dear. Then I told her some of the National Guard units I was sending to from Utah serving abroad and she realized her son was in one of them, the 142nd. Please tell her son that he has an angel of a mother that she is so proud of him and loves him so. Thank you Denise


OH how wonderful to hear back from you Chaplain.  I know it may sound weird that I get as excited as a kid on Christmas morning after Santa has visited, but collecting the cards and donated items from Americans all over the world expressing how much they love our brave and selfless men and women in uniform makes me feel that way. 

 I sent 150 boxes of cards, and tons of gifts for an Active Duty ARmy unit last Christmas through their chaplain. I sent them out on Dec. 3rd and they received them 1 week before Christmas.  I know that the usual 10 day travel time for the packages is much slower during the holidays. 

 The plan is to raise the $15,000 we need to ship 1,500 boxes to the military units and a hospital in Kuwait, we have committed to the LDS Church Liaison Frank Clawson, at a Concert for all Utah Military and their families along with the public on November 5th.  Please let all the families back home of your unit know about it.  I have attached the flyer and Hank McIntyre promised to email all the Guard.  And then we have asked all the School Districts of Utah to get all the cards they are making turned into their School District offices before Thanksgiving Vacation on the 27th.  Then we plan get all the volunteers we can to box up all the collected items, label and shrink wrap the packages onto 20 crates USPS is providing, and having them picked up the following Monday with a special trailer they have committed. So we will just have faith that the Lord will get those packages out to you before Christmas as they did last Christmas.  I have already added your unit of our Utah National Guard to send Christmas to  this year. I am grateful to have Jennie Taylor support me in this wonderful opportunity.  Many, many people here in Utah are excited to be working on this great project.

 Wish everyone with you our love and prayers,

 Denise  (you can read the daily offers of service for this project on this page)

-----Original Message-----
From: Montoya, James
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 4:02 AM
To: Letters to Soldiers
Cc: Jennie Taylor
Subject: RE: Attention Chaplain Montoya Jennie Taylor gave me your email contact to get info on sending you Christmas cards and packages from UTah


 This sounds like a wonderful event and I am very appreciative of the

support to our soldiers.  There are 310 Soldiers in our Battalion here

in Afghanistan. God Bless you and yours!

CH Montoya

 P.S. I have attached the mailing deadlines or dates things need to be sent in order for them to arrive before Christmas.

 James A. Montoya Chaplain (Major) UTARNG Task Force Wasatch


We love our Utah Air Guard: Thank Joe, Ali, Valerie, Denise, Lydia and others:

From: Sh. Joseph C SMSgt 151ARW/CCF

Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 7:46 AM

To: H.Valerie M TSgt ANG 130 EIS/IMQ

Subject: RE: Event on the 5 Nov 2008

"Hi Valerie,

 Even though I don't think we need tickets if we are helpers, I plan to buy one anyway to make a monetary donation to the event. I also plan to volunteer at least the afternoon of the event to help them get things ready for the event that evening. On the evening of the event, I think she is planning for us to help greet and possibly usher people to their seats, maybe even help with refreshments. I am sure she appreciates whatever time and energy you will offer. If you want to give her a call, her number is ...Joe"

-----Original Message-----

From: H. Valerie M TSgt ANG 130 EIS/IMQ

Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 9:41 AM

To: S. Joseph C SMSgt 151ARW/CCF

Subject: Event on the 5 Nov 2008

SMS Shern,

"I volunteered to help out with the Operation Ensuring Christmas concert event."

"We would love to attend Operation Ensuring Christmas concert.  My husband and I are Gold Star parents and appreciate invitation.  We look forward to it.  There will be two of us.


Thank you,"

Amy and Tony G.

Proud parents of Cpl. Adam Galvez, USMC

KIA 8/20/06 Iraq

From a PUblic Affairs Unit of 13 from Utah National Guard 4th ID in Iraq:

"Hello Denise,

Thanks for your efforts on our behalf. It's best to contact my wife direct about the concert/fund raiser. She is cc'd on this email and you can reach her at k...

God bless you and yours, who are working diligently on our behalf.

Warmest regards,

-SPC Douglas L. York-


From his wife:

"Thank You so much this is such a wonderful opportunity!!! I will definitely be there. I also forwarded this to my good friend Amy Jo J. whose husband is deployed with mine. She too would love to come!! I hope that that is okay, it sounded like that was fine though. I appreciate all that you are doing to help our soldiers. There is no way I could thank you enough."



"It took a few days, but we cleared out the ward, and now, for new patients coming in, they will find one of the messages you sent on their pillow, and one on the night stand. The pictures arent much, but I thought I'd show you anyway :-) Thanks!"

-Logan Latimer

 -----Original Message-----
From: logan.latimer
Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 2:41 PM
To: Letters to Soldiers
Subject: RE: 386th CASF

 Got your package today, and we're distributing the letters now. We also

have a guy here who's been giving the contact info for the emails so

some of the people will receive responses to the letters =)

 Thanks again!


 -----Original Message-----

From: Letters to Soldiers

Sent: Friday, September 26, 2008 11:38 PM

To: Latimer, Logan A1C USAF AFCENT 386 EMDG/CASF

Subject: RE: 386th CASF

 I will get a package out asap for the wounded in your facility too, I

love sending them the special cards we get from children.  This is very

exciting for us to help in this effort. Also remember when you do move,

to pass  the batton onto the next unit in charge so all injured get our

cards and letters nonstop. 

 Thanks for looking into the military shipping if possible. My friend is

a Navy doctor in MD and he can help too. T hansk D.-----Original


From: logan.latimer

Sent: Friday, September 26, 2008 1:14 PM


Subject: 386th CASF

 I was wondering if I could register the facility I'm working at to

receive letters and other support items. We are the 386th Contingency

Aeromedical Staging Facility located at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait.

We receive patients that have been medically evacuated from different

parts of Iraq, some battle injuries, but lots of other issues too. I

used to work at the CASF in Germany, which had a USO in the facility.

The USO provided lots of support type letters, posters, artwork, etc.

The CASF here in Kuwait doesn't have much of that, and I am in contact

with the USO and other organizations to help boost the morale of the

sick and injured troops on their way home. Is there a way we can

register the entire facility? Thanks for your time and support.


 -A1C Logan Latimer"

From: Mills, Richard B 1LT RES USAR FORSCOM (From Utah Army Reserve Fort Douglas)

Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 9:25 AM

To: Stayer, Sandra J Ms USAR 96TH RRC

Subject: Re: RE: RE: RE: RE: Approved documents

Wow... That is awesome. Thank you so much for your support. We really do appreciate it over here.

Richard Mills


Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE

(Have added the 259th for 85 Boxes. So thrilled to be able to do this.)

"09/25/08 Forwarded by Military Liaison LDS Church office for Chaplains:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED


Thank you for your support. 

My unit is about 1000 men, so we would fit just right with what you would like to do for Christmas.  My mailing address is below.

Blessings, Chaplain Brandon S. Harding"



I believe that the personal care products for the servicemen we have are now ready for pick up.

There are 3 pallets.  How do we make the arrangements?

We are now in Springville behind our corporate building.


2089 Neways Drive

Building 2, Dock doors 14,15,16

Springville, Utah 84663”


Best regards,

Kevin Bowman


Distribution/Assembly Department


HI, my name is Miss Murphy.  I teach third grade at Gearld Wright Elementary in West Valley City, UT.  Our principal, Ms. Laughlin sent us this e-mail.  I think my students would have a lot of fun doing this projects, so could you please send me more information about it?

                                     Thanks so much,

                                             Miss Murphy, third grade teacher, Gearld Wright Elementary





I am so excited to learn about all you are doing for those that are serving our country.  I would like to be involved whether you need help with contacting local schools for letters or if you need some help with cutting fabric for stockings and/or sewing them.  I have a sewing class that I attend and I'm pretty sure many of them would be willing to help with this effort.  Please contact me.
Thanks!  Christine Jordan




Thank you Sivale and the Entire UPS Crew for offering to volunteer to package the 1,500 boxes with your packing materials Thanksgiving weekend, and delivering the UTah Children CHristmas Cards at the Concert. Thank you Steve Goodrich for helping UPS formerly deployed employees come to the concert.

Thank you Amy Williams of USPS small Business office for helping us get a PC Postage company for automated prepaid labels and customs forms and boxes for 1,500 packages for us to stuff all the cards, letters and donated items by Nov. 25th. 



Our Love goes out to our dear friend of all the military Rebecca Cressman of FM100 at a time of sorrow for the loss of her mother. We love you Rebecca!



"I'm an elementary computer teacher and would like to have my students write letters to be sent to Utah soldiers. Is this something that we could do through your organization?

Thank you,"

Becky Buckley

Scera Park Elementary


"I heard about your need for volunteers on the news Nov 1st and my wolf pack of scouts are looking for a service project in November just before Thanksgiving, Nov 25th.  Is there anything my 8-10 group of 8 year olds can do?  I will also be contacting other groups for ideas, so please respond ASAP so I can notify parents and get permission slips out.



"Dear Friends,

I work in the schools and have suggested to teachers we have students write letters to soldiers, but we don't know any contacts.

Let me know,

Mary Griffin, Logan Utah (Logan City Schools)"


"I recently ran an event where students from our community wrote letters, drew pictures and made Flat Stanleys for soldiers in Iraq.  We followed the guidelines from past writing sessions, kept them positive and wrote about themselves and thanked them of course for all their sacrifices.  We thought we had an address for a soldier to send them all to but we haven't received it yet.  Is it possible we could send them to you and you could pass them on?  Maybe provide us with an address that we could send them to directly?  I would appreciate any assistance you could provide.


Thank you and look forward to hearing from you."


Julie McCormick, co-chair

Make a Difference Day Event

Cross River, NY





I will be coming and bringing the cards to the concert.  I am bringing Cam Jacobson with me.  She is a counselor at our school who's husband is serving right now.  I have already e-mailed the flyer to all the teachers and staff (about 200) and asked them to send it on.  See you on 5th."
Jennifer Yorgesen Willow Creek Middle School

From our favorite Principal at AF JR. High:

"Just to let you know, I handed out and put up about 750 of the fliers.

After talking to you I figured that you had enough to do so I figured I would help ( it was my own kids that did most of the work). Thank You for all that you have done to make this work. I will not be able to make it Tuesday night, SORRY! I will get you some Christmas cards this week! Thanks again!!!"

Jim Young

"Yes, we are bringing 500 cards on Weds.  However, by coincidence, my children are in the One Voice Children's choir and are performing also.  We will be there tonight for the rehearsal. I could bring most of the cards today if that would help or I can save them all for Weds. 

Also, I thought that Cam Jacobsen and I were on the VIP list but I did not see our names on it on the last e-mail.  I am also not exactly sure what that means.  Do I need to pre-purchase a ticket?  Or what am I supposed to do?"


Jennifer Yorgesen-Willowcreek Middle School

Photographer Rick Weller is photographing the concert too:

"This is where the images will be parked after the event (and where you can link to the gallery from your website).

The event appears to be for a great cause so I'd be happy to donate time to shoot it no charge. After the event you are welcome to review the gallery and pick a few images out to display on your website (I typically process images the same day so they would be available to view on Thursday). The remainder of the gallery can be linked to from your website to share with anyone interested. Occasionally I will (at the event directors request) offer the images for sale. If there is interest, let me know and I will configure the gallery for sales and donate 30% net to the cause. I'm not set up to advertise event image sales however so that task would fall upon your organization if they feel it's a worthwhile vehicle for income.

In order to shoot, please provide entrance to the venue as well as all-access photo credentials at Will Call for "Rick Weller" and I'll be there. Will it be possible to enter the venue a little earlier, say around 6:15pm to check out the stage lighting, layout, and shoot pre-show images, etc? If not, no worries.

And to confirm, the event is a concert/fund raiser this Wednesday, November 5th from 7pm to 9pm and is located at Studio 600, 26 E 600 S in SLC correct?



Rick Weller"


Positive Arts and Music Magazine: Thank you

Operation Ensuring Christmas Concert

On Wed, November 5th there is a concert fund raiser sponsored by Operation Letters To Soldiers. They are trying to raise money to send letters and care packages to over 1500 Utah Soldiers, Airmen and marines who are deployed. Dan Truman, Ben Truman, Angela Winston, Miss Utah Army Sgt. GI Jill Stevens, and Drew Reese as well as several other artist will all be performing at this show. This event will be at Studio 600 in Salt Lake on November 5th at 7pm. Read more

 Stockings volunteers:

"Yes I have some fabric of my own. Can you tell me dimensions and I could start while sitting with my mom.    L"

"Do you have a pattern or specific size you need? We will try to get about 40-50 stockings done and will pass an envelope for donations as our meeting is the night of the concert.

We will also write notes to the soldiers if that is okay.

Thank you


               "My name is Mytchell Brush. We just had a election at my school,  and I was voted Prime Minister. I promised to give letters and care packages to Canadian and American soldiers in Iraq if I was elected. I was reaching on your website and I was interested in what I saw. I was wondering if someone could give me more information about where to send the care packages and letters, and by what date do we have them in to get them there by Christmas. Thank you for your time.


 Mytchell Brush

Temple Baptist Christian Academy

Grade 5 Prime Minister


Those participating in Operation Ensuring Christmas: ( Updated daily)

10/31/08"I spent yesterday passing out flyers in Murray and Sandy…called and emailed many friends and relatives.  Many folks had heard that I was performing and were excited to come.  You are doing amazing.  Good job Denise.  You are the hero in this whole thing.  Rick and I are practicing today so it will be fun. Hugs, Margo"

"OH I am so thrilled. Please have them write to and we will forward to those.  I also have a SSG friend Jeffrey P. in Active Duty Army in San Diego working at a wounded warrior hospital who has asked me to come down to meet his commanders and the soldiers to share my program with them and get them lots of letters too.  I am so honored to do anything I can to help Americans show their love and appreciation to all these heroes. I will send you more as I receive them.  Thank you so much for writing back. I know this work is very important. I also plan on sending some special packages for Christmas around Dec. 1st if you can tell me how many wounded warrior heroes you have then. Thank you for allowing me to do this."

 D. D.



 "On behalf of Simmons Media we will be adding this to our station websites and will be running liners to promote the event. Your PSA is scheduled in our rotation as well.

 thank you,"Kayla Turner

Deseret News 10/31.08

"• OGDEN MOTHER INSPIRES SONG — "Everyday I'm Hanging On" is a new country song by Allison Janisse of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which was co-written by the mother of a soldier, Tamra Lynn Smith of Ogden. KSOP is the only local radio station to have played the song, a popular independent county tune.

Janisse will be in Utah next week for her American premiere to highlight two benefits for "Operation Ensuring Christmas Concerts." The first will be Wednesday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m., at Salt Lake's Studio 600, 26 E. 600 South. The second will be Thursday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m., at the Outlaw, 1254 W. 2100 South, Ogden.

The majority of proceeds from the concerts will pay for the postage to ship Christmas packages to Utah soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tickets are available at SmithsTix for $12.50 or the cost will be $15 at the door.

Denise De Vynck, who is organizing the relief for soldiers, said another $13,000 (or at least 1,300 tickets sold) is needed to mail packages to soldiers. She stressed this the largest single such effort ever in Utah. Package contents have already been donated by many different organizations.

To volunteer for this effort, go to"

10/29/08 Build A Bear Corporation is donating $1,500 worth of certificates for the military families' kids of those deployed from Utah in the 142nd Unit in Afghanistan. (Click their logo on left to see some of the bears the kids can build for as low as $5 with these certificates.)


"our girl scout troop has just made christmas cards for troops and we need an address for send them so that they may be forwarded to troops overseas

we would appreciate your help in this

 many thanks "

Tina Williams

troop 8596



10/29/08 "Hi Denise, Happy to help.

I’m requesting ten $10 certificates good at any of our restaurants – Sizzler, Red Robin, Ruby River Steakhouse, or Hoppers.  Hope that helps you.  I won’t have them until the beginning of next week.  Can someone come by and pick them up here at our office in Murray?



I believe that the personal care products for the servicemen we have are now ready for pick up. There are 3 pallets.  How do we make the arrangements? We are now in Springville behind our corporate building.

2089 Neways Drive

Building 2, Dock doors 14,15,16

Springville, Utah 84663"

Best regards,

Kevin Bowman


Distribution/Assembly Department



 I work for Emigration Court Apartments in downtown Salt Lake City. We have a community with 238 apartments and are interested in participating in your Christmas program for USA soldiers.

 We would like to work with our residents to collect items and monetary donations that could be used for care packages. Then we could have an event one night where the residents help put together care packages to be mailed, or given to your organization.

 Do you have a system in place for communities and organizations like ours? Are there any signs or promotional materials we could use?

 I tried to find a phone number to call you on your website, but didn’t have any luck. What is the best number to get in touch regarding any questions?

 Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you!"

Karen Jorgensen
Leasing Associate
Emigration Court

10/24/08 Wow we have Smithstix selling our Tickets, Jeff Childs of RC Willey wants to be part of this and we wil have drop off locations around Utah, and UPS is going to pack all the packages and working hard on logistics, and our wonderful honored guests of the 142nd and NG linguistics Units are RSVping, and all over wonderful volunteers are working so hard. Thank you all!! Together we can make this the most special Christmas all of Utah participated in together.

KJZZ Jazz Cafe interview live Monday 8:30am, then 10:30 am KSOP, and Johnson & JOhsnon from KBULL called today to find out more. WE are rollin now!!! WAy to go TAmra, Sandra and all my wonderful helpers.



10/27/08  Thank you KJZZ  CAfe Brandy, former ARmy, for having us on your really cool show. Thank you also for volunteering to help at the concert. Thank you to all your wonderful staff.

Thank you KUTV2 for running our TV PSA spot this week.

Thank you STaples for $100 Gift Certificate of items needed like ink, paper, and tape.

Thank you Kim at KSOP for having us on your show and playing Allison Janisse's and Tamra Lynn Smith's #1 on Independent Network Country Charts and letting us know that 10 people called in after it aired and asked for it to be played again!! Thanks Kim for making us a PSA spot.

Thank you Studio 600 owner Steve for making us 100 free 11 x17 flyers to pass out.  And for being so gracious to host this Concert.

Thank you Deseret News Editor Lee Benson for offering a front page Local Section of the Deseret News to tell everyone in Utah about Operation Ensuring Christmas and the Concert. Look for it Monday NOv. 3rd. 


"I am a teacher at Murray High School. If I have my students write Christmas Cards, where do I mail them?

Haley Binggeli

Murray High School"

"I have seen all the emails on the community website on KSL and wondering how our Relief Society can help? We are having a humanitarian night on Nov 5th - what do you need?

I saw multiple postings for shoes, letters, stockings, clothing and such - are the letters just written to the soldiers in general?

Please let me know asap and we will get on it."

shelley s



"Hi Denise,

I have a young member who would like to donate $50.00 but not buy tickets (she does not want to take a seat away from someone)....( WE want her there, this concert is for all of our military and their families, there is enough room for all with a seperate concert hall next door)

How does that work?

Oh, and I have a few of us so far that will buy some tickets, but we want to work!  We want to help with cleanup and so on!!!

Thanks for all that you do for us!"


Alexandria C., TSgt, UTANG
Production Recruiter HAFB



10/22/07 "I am a Canadian citizen living in Ontario and my friend and I would like some information on how to send letters or books to soldiers in Iraq.  We don't have anyone there that we know but would just like to send a letter to let them know that others are thinking about them."


"Denise, about that? We're going to start running Ensuring Christmas..on both stations. Cool! Hitting it hard.

Rick KBZN radio"


I saw the article in the paper. I can make stockings if you can tell me what you need.


Lisa Warnick"

"D., I am willing to make Christmas stockings for soldiers if you will send me the specifications:  pattern, what kind of fabric, etc.  Lou"

"Around 10 of us will be there on Saturday Nov. 29th to help with packages if you will tell us when and where.  You are doing a great job.  Hugs, Margo"


In the meantime, we have decided to give all military members and their families a 50% discount on every card they order. 

 Let me know if you have any questions,

Randy G. Barney

Business Development Manager

Card Café


 Upon hearing about your project, Card Café was determined to find a way to help with your noble cause in sending Christmas to those who are fighting for our freedoms.  As you requested, we are promoting the concert to all of the employees of our two companies; Card Café and Rocky Mountain Printing.  In addition, we would like to set up a branded website for Operation Ensuring Christmas.  We will waive both the $990 set up fee and any monthly maintenance fees; we will also be discounting the cost of the cards for your supporters.  This site will be totally free of charge to your charity.  We will discount the price of the cards so you can offer it as a service.  This is an easy to use online site for creating and ordering cards, we then print these cards on heavy card stock, and mail them in a personalized envelope with a first class stamp.  You can see a brief overview of how this works in a 3 minute online video.  You can go here to view it:"  Barney


"My team and I are interested in supporting the troops during the upcoming Veterans Day time period.  I oversee 8 retail locations in the Denver and Colorado Springs area and would like to know how we can get you letters from our customers, families and friends that would all be interested in letting the troops know how much their efforts are appreciated.  How can we make this happen and get these letters to your organization?


Thank you,"


Dustin Bartel

District Manager Select Comfort

Denver South


One of my co-workers is in Afghanistan.  He asked if we could collect some toys for a hospital in his area.  I put up a sign at work and the response was overwhelming.  I have shipped 4 boxes to him and still have a lot of toys left.  One son of an employee did his Eagle Scout Project to collect toys.  I have not see what he collected.  He said it was 9 boxes.  I do not know if my friend can use all the toys.  Can you use some of these?


Joanne Hansen

( we referred her to that serves children of Fallen Soldiers. )  Please give toys to them, and food to the Food Banks of Utah this  year!!




I am in charge of a leadership club called Youth 2000 at my elementary school. I am a third grade teacher and there are 4th and 5th graders in the club. Last year we raised money for the Blue Star Mothers to send packages over to Iraq. It was called "Pennies for Postage" and it was great! We would like to do another service project for our troops this year and we just recently received an email about this operation. Please let me know how our school can help. We can raise money, or write letters, or collect items, or all three. It looks like the email from Denise D. said that we would need to get the items/money to our district office by Nov.

25th. Great. Just let me know."

Jamie .

3rd Grade Teacher Canyon Elementary  Hyrum, Utah


"Hi, this is Susan A. in Utah County.  My grandchildren and I have 104 stockings for this marvelous project.  They spent the weekend with me and had a ball getting the stockings decorated .  When do you want them brought and where?  Also, my son's wife, (the wife of my soldier) and I would love to help on the 29th.   
We may even have a few more volunteers for that day.  Where and what time?  I sent an email to all of my teachers today encouraging them to get some projects done for the stockings. What day do I need to have those to you?  Also, do you need volunteers for the concert still?  I would love to help with anything you can use me for.  We would also be very interested in helping get the mailing labels ready if you can give me more info on that.  Or do you still need rice krispie treats or more stockings.  Just let me know.


Thanks so much for the amazing work you are doing. 

Susan A."


Susan A.

Lead Secretary

Cedar Ridge Elementary


"I am on the Board of Directors for the One Voice Children's Choir that is performing at your November 5 event. I am also a member of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron in Salt Lake City.

I was wondering if you might have need of our Cadets at the November 5th event as ushers, or a Color Guard. Many of the young men and women in the CAP Program have a desire to join the military,and this could be an opportunity for them to show their support of our troops in a different way than they are used too.


Marc Goldberg


10/18/08 We with to give a big Thank You and love to one very special business manager of a store that lost its European investors and had to close all of its stores Mariposa Beautiful Evening Gowns. Thank you Mariposa Stores for donating clothes for our military families to have a wonderful Christmas.  When people were ravaging through the store floor and offering so little for treasures, this wonderful woman saw us putting flyers for our event, and she told us to gather all we could take for the families of the military this Christmas. What an angel.  Thank you Kristina.  YOu and your family are our guests at our Christmas Concert. We will get these to wives and daughters of our deployed military and utilize the rest to raise funds for the shipping to their husbands, fathers and sons.

Thank you Ryan and SAm at FOX13 for interviewing our wonderful National Guard family teen McKensie about our Concert. Thank you KZHT and KOSY of Clearchannel and Jeff Cochran for the interviews and running our PSA on your websites.


10/17/08  "Denise,

The picking up the posters in SLC is a problem. Can you send the poster in digits (attached to an email) and we will reproduce them here. I need to have posters available ASAP to stock in the Veterans Office at UVU. Our email will direct the student veterans to pick up posters there. If you require them to sign up and come to SLC to pick the posters up, I feel that no one would participate. Let me know soonest. Jim

James G. Hunter Associate Director

Institute of Emergency Services and Homeland Security Utah Valley University"


Thank you Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints & Deseret Management Corporation for the $1,000 donation for the shipping of these packages.  $14,000 to go!!  Thank you James E. Reed DAV member for donating $100 for the shipping. Thank you Cafe Rio for the $500 donation, Thank you Dayne's Music for lending us a Grand Digital Piano, and thank you Utah Air National Guard for your wonderful help and donations like $50 from one member. Thank you UPS for offering to pack the 1,500 packages and donating the packaging tape and shrink wrap.

Thank you FUZE for supplying the drinks at the Concert.  Support Polar Bears, buy FUZE drinks:  (Thank you Sandra for getting this)

A VERY BIG THANK YOU GOES TO OUR WONDERFUL FRIENDS OF CHURCHES, SCHOOL DISTRICTS, COMPANIES THAT ARE GENEROUSLY GIVING AND MAKING THIS PROJECT POSSIBLE. GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND THANK YOU SO MUCH.  And another Huge THank YOu to our wonderful military and military family volunteers at Ftl Douglas, in our National Guard, at HAFB, Marines and others for all you do to collect cards, put up flyers and help get the word out like Bernadette and BArney, you guys are GOld, SAndra and her team at Ft. Douglas my right hand and angels, Kristen thank you so much, and everyone else in the military we really love you!! Thank you for your service and all your great sacrifices you and your families make for all of us.  And our amazing team of volunteers like DAV Dan Rioux, DAV couple in St. George Steven and Barbara Duke, Marilyn and your grand daughter in W. Jordan,  Linda, Michael, Lisa and Angie my fellow LDS single Friends, Paul, Jerry and others for sending it out on your email lists, and Misty in Heber getting your family on board. We could never do all this without each and everyone of you all stepping up to help out. And our wonderful artists Margo Watson, Wendy our angel Lanternlane, Angela, Rick, DAn Truman and Sister Truman. You guys are so wonderful to also help in every way you can.  Thank you.  Denise  Thank you DAV Mr. Reed for your generous donation of $100 and for your great service in our Air Force.  Thank you companies and the LDS Church Foundation for all your great Humanitarian Aid you give to people all over the world and here at home. And all the churches that give so much support to everyone.  Thank you Bro. Hales and the First Presidency for your kind words. We sure love you!!

Thank you Evan Stowers for putting the sound together for this concert.  And Shawn of Taylor audio helping out also. Taylor audio brought the state, PA system and sound board at our WElcome HOme Troop Celebration June 14th and engineered the whole concert beautifully. 

Anyone know how to post on MySpace? Put up a 30 second radtio and TV spot? Videos of our performers? Find me on MySpace and be my friend!

10/16/08 Thank you The Eagle Radio Station, FM100 Radio also for interviewing Margo Watson and LEtters to Soldiers about this event and huge project. Thank you KSL, KUTV2 and ABC4 for running our PSA TV Spot. Thank you ABC4 Roxy for interviewing us last night and airing the interview on the 10pm News.


10/13/08 What a dear friend to our Miitary and our Veterans Rick Lindsay of KBZN is.  Thank you Rick for doing an interview to air this Sunday at 5:45am, and making our 30 Second Radio PSA.  And Steve Ames fo STudio 600 and his creative team for giving us the most beautiful venue to hold a concert.  and Angela and Tyron for coming to all the radio interviews and getting the word out in your church and friends.  And Brother and Sister DAn Truman of Diamond Rio, how sweet you are.  I can't tell you how blessed we are to have such genuine and generous celebrities in our efforts as missionaries with our own talents.  How blessed your family is to have such wonderful parents.  And Margo Watson you are just the dearest and hardest working right hand that reallly keeps me going. And my dear new friend Sandra at Ft. Douglas 96th, what would I do without you doing so much for me. Thank you all for making my job so much easier and keeping me going with your great attitudes.  I am grateful for all the wonderful volunteers helping this effort move forward in such a positive way.



"My name is Samantha and I attend Cal State University, Northridge. My organization and I are holding a large event (2000+ attendees) on campus and were looking at some sort of philanthropy at this event. Could you please send me some more information about how to go about writing letters to soldiers. Thank you.


Samantha Anne L.
Customer Service Supervisor
Satellite Student Union
University Student Union, Inc.
Cal State University
, Northridge


From OH8th Provo/Orem Singles ward:

FHE Operation Ensuring Christmas Project

 Tuesday October 14th 7 PM in the Relief Society Rm.

We will be making Christmas Cards for Soldiers from Utah serving in Iraq and wounded Soldiers.  Denise will bring scrapbooking paper and stickers. If everyone can bring scissors, she has glue sticks, and if you have cool calligraphy pens or markers.

 We will also be making fun Christmas Stockings. She needs to collect 1,500 by Thanksgiving for 1,500 packages. She has some fabric and will bring a few fabric scissors if any girls can bring some. If you have any fabric that would work at home, please bring too.

"Hello Denise!

I hope this gets to you. Really, I am honored that you would even want me there and apart of this... it sure means a lot! I wish there were two of me ;)

Definitely plan on me being there near the end. I will try to shorten my presentation as much as possible to get there in plenty of time.

Attached you will find a headshot that you can do whatever with. I will send another photo that I believe will be great for advertising. It is really high pixel so I hope it can send.

Thanks again Denise. I hope you are able to rest some with how hard you are working. Thanks for all that you do!"



SGT Jill Stevens, RN

Miss Utah 2007

Army National Guard

"Operation Letters to Soldiers


To provide individual military personnel with cards, small gifts, letters, posters from young people at North Layton Junior High as part of a state wide effort to support our troops.

Discuss with the student officers several ideas including using the October 23rd Jeans Day as a way of raise some of the $14,000. 00 needed to send the 1,500 boxes of cards and gifts."

We are excited!



North Layton Junior High




"As military ourselves I know how important it is to take care of our soldiers and I will tell as many people as I can about this benefit as well as do what I can to help.  Thank you and God Bless. " Utah National Guard wife

"I am in charge of scheduling activities on Tuesdays for our students and would like to participate in this event.  If we want to make cards, how would you like them to be done and what other details would we need in order to make them correctly for you?


Is there anything else that can be done at our school?"



"I am the head room mother of the 5th grade at Deerfield Elementary in Cedar Hills Utah.

We are looking for a service project and wondered how we could be helpful.


If you have something 120 5th graders can do please let me know.


Thank you for all you do! We love our troops!"




Hi Denise,

 Before we send this information out to principals, we need to have answers to a couple of questions:

1)                   Are you prepared to pick up the 60,000+ letters we could potentially collect?

2)                   Are we okay asking non-Christian students to make Christmas cards or are they just thank you cards?

 I would appreciate any other updated information you can share with me. I look forward to hearing from you.


Kevin Hague

Assistant Superintendent Granite School District

 (Reply oh yes we have military and moms and disabled veterans to pick them up and 1000s of military and hospitals waiting for them.  All grateful Americans can write of all faiths, what ever they feel in their heart to write. Thank you)

"This is Rachel Hamblin from West Point Elementary and we would love to participate in this program! Please let me know what specifications you have for the Christmas cards (how big, do they need to be in envelopes, etc.). We are very excited to be part of something so wonderful, thank you for the opportunity! Rachel Hamblin S.E.M. T. A. West Point Elementary "

"I am a Proud Navy wife and  I was wanting to have my son's class make christmas cards and write letter to our Troops for this holiday party that they will have. I have no idea where to start nor who I need to address about sending them to our troops.  I would have like to make them personal but as of right now I have no one who is in the Middle East.  If you can let me know who I need to contact about this issue I will be ever so greatful!!
Thank you so much for your help"
Jennifer F.


How do we send letters and care packs to soldiers for the holidays?" Nicole Medlock

A/P Expense Coordinator ATLANTIC GROUP


10/09/08 "Hi Denise,

You had called and mentioned that you were available for Oct 18th for interviews in Salt Lake? I have sent the request to Programming and I think we may be able to accommodate but we will not be able to have any of the artists on with music. We can do a quick interview with you on The Eagle promoting the event.

I will find out what time works and will let you know."

Thank you,

Kayla Turner

Promotions Director 101.5 The Eagle

"I am the mother of a 9yr old Jr. Girl Scout in Portland, Oregon.  She loves ALL of our Soldiers and would love to be able to help and lift the spirits of as many Soldiers as we can this Holiday Season.  We are looking for a place where we can drop off a bunch of Christmas cards that we are putting together.  Do you have a local drop off site or contact?  Please let me know.  We would love to help as much as we can all year long.




Brandy Church

Proud Jr. Girl Scout Mom"





10/07/08 "Hey Denise!
You always do such a terrific job - all your planning and efforts really make local military support come together!
I was thinking that with Halloween coming very soon that perhaps Operation Ensuring Christmas could recruit some dentists and/or orthodontists to partner and sponsor a Halloween Candy Buy-Back where the dentists/orthodontists pay kids a couple of bucks a pound for their halloween candy then donate the candy to Operation Ensuring Christmas to sweeten the holiday shipments. 
Perhaps dentists/orthodontists could even pledge matching (or some other amount) funds for help with shipment costs.  This is an excellent way for dentists/orthodontists to show community support by encouraging the health of kids as well as recognition of military families. 
It is certainly great PR and a feel-good story that TV and newspapers are likely to help spread.
I wish I had somebody specific to give you as a lead, I do know that Dr. Terry Preece in Layton has done a candy buy-back in the past with support going to the Utah Food bank, but it would be great to have someone in Utah county show support and lead the way down here.
Just a thought - keep up the good work!"
Becky & James Lakko
Pleasant Grove, UT



North Layton Jr. High School Principal David Turner contacted us today to let us know that their school will not only make cards at their Assembly they hold in November, but also with their Community Council and  STudent Council will raise $500 towards the shipping costs of the 1,500 packages these cards will be part of. Thank you so much for your support, enthusiasm and generosity.

Lindon Elementary Principal Jason Theler is also on board with their Patriotic Assembly to make cards also. We will be sending all schools a flyer for the concert and they will put it in their newsletter. Highland Elementary Principal Reed Hastin also. Timberline Jr. High Principal Terry HIll, Legacy Elementary Gary Gibb.  Our Star Principal Jim Young of American Fork Jr. High that made 300 Christmas cards last year and then 300 more for Valentine's Day for the Utah National Guard 145th while they were in Iraq is also on board in a big way!! We love our Principals.

"How can my class of 4th graders participate in this project?"Tingey

Lewiston, Elem. Cache County, Utah


We are a small group of Young Women's organization. We have 17 girls (12-17 yr) and 9 women and we are wondering if there is anything we could do to help out with your cause. Please email me back and let me know and I will pass it along asap! Thanks you, Patricia C."

10/05/08 "My name is Desiree Holloway and I am the vice president for my high school's Key Club. I go to Bloomington High School in California and since our club is a service organization, I thought that sending care packages to soldiers would be perfect for our club. We had originally planned on sending our care packages in christmas stockings through another organization but since we started the project late, it isn't likely that we'll make the deadline. I was wondering if i could get information to possibly send the care packages that we collect to your organization. Any information on shipping details and dates would be great. Please please give me information because making sure the soldiers are accomodated is a very deep concern of mine.

Desiree H."


"I am a first grade teacher at Maeser Elementary, Uintah School District in Vernal, and I would love to get some cards to you from our school! I have a brother-in-law who is a Marine, he hasn't been deployed yet...., but I would love to help those who have! I will contact all of our Teachers and hopefully we will have a lot for you! I want to make sure that I understand what I need to do... I should have them to my District Office by November 25! Please let me know if I need to do anything else!

Thank you,

Kristin O.

10/01/08 "This past weekend was the Tooele Rendzvous.  I talked to the people in charge and asked if we could write the letters to our Soldiers.  And everyone even thought writing the letters wasn't primative were all for it... they even had a tent in the middle of traders row that they set me up in.

SSG Johnson and myself were able to get about 350 Christmas cards and pictures written for our Soldiers.

Please let me know how I can get them to you.

Thank you,"

Bernadette C.




" work with the my county's 4-H program and I have 8 in-school 4-H clubs looking for ways to make a difference in the community.  Can you give me specifics of what the kids can make i.e. cards, letters, pictures, etc. to send to our troops and where these can be sent to?


Thank you,

Leigh H.

Faulkner County 4-H Agent

Faulkner County, Arkansas


Leigh Helms
Faulkner County
CEA 4-H / Family & Consumer Sciences
110 S. Amity Road, Suite 200
Conway, AR

Thank you Shotgun at KBULL 93 for interviewing us and always supporting Leters To Soldiers.

09/27/08 Disabled Veterans Auxiliary Association wives are making some Christmas Stockings for us, we have some fabric and need more people to volunteer to sew stockings.



09/28/08 "I am a 4th grade teacher at River Heights Elementary school in Cache County School District. I would love to have my class help or even make it school wide. We did something similar last year and the response was great. I also belong to a knitters guild and I am sure we could help there as well. Please let me know what is needed most.

In addition, my very good friend owns a soap, lotion shampoo, hand sanitizer company and I am sure she would love to help too.

Please let me know how I can help.

Thanks Renee A. N."

"I can help by picking up cards from the schools in utah county any schools, i can also contact the schools about the cards, my husband is a soilder(not currently deployed) and i would love to help Thanks Lisa N. please email me at  thanks please call and let me know what i can do"  (Wow do we need help with this, thank you LIsa)




09/25/08 LDS Church Military Missionaries office that sends out retired military couples to support our LDS military just offered 800 "Sharing Time" Ocapella singles with children CD for our troops this Christmas. Thank you

My son's Middle School, is part of an International Baccalaureate program in the Austin Independent School District, Austin Texas.   The kids are encouraged through their curriculum and community involvement to ocus on global issues and philanthropy work.   My son and his friends are interested in sponsoring a letter writing and/or gift giving event for our troops in Iraq.   


Will you please provide me with additional information as to how best to go forward with this idea ?

Several questions I had ...

1.  How do we register our event ?

2.  Where do we get the list of soliders to send items or cards to ?

3.  Is there a minimum we need to send ?

4.  Other pertinent info ?


Please advise.

Warmest regards ... and thank you for all you do !


Mary Ann Auster

Austin, Texas





For the second year, Operation Ensuring Christmas for Our Troops, is asking Utah school children to make Christmas/Thank You cards for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan with ties to Utah.  All cards would need to be sent to the district office before the Thanksgiving Break to ensure that they arrive to the troops in time for Christmas.  For more information see their website at


Please share with all you feel would be willing to be involved with this project.



Nate Taggart, Weber School District Superintendent"


> From: Darrell White [Sanpete County

> Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 12:00 PM

> To: Letters to Soldiers

> Subject: Re: interested


> Sign us up. We are a small school. Our school size is about 170

> students, but we will do our best. I have four sons in the National

> Guard. Three have been to Iraq."



I received the e-mail below from one of our chaplains in Iraq. I don’t know if your organization gets involve in these sort of things, but I thought it would be good to pass it on to you.  Chaplain Harding would be an excellent contact for your letters and care packages to soldiers that you sponsor.


Frank Clawson

From: Harding Lt Brandon S (AR RCT1 1/3 Chaplain) []
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 4:57 AM
To: Latter-day Saint Charities LDS-Charities
Cc: Frank Clawson; Richard Whaley
Subject: [U] Humatarian Service in Iraq

 Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

LDS Charities-

 I’m an LDS chaplain currently serving in Iraq.  When I was here last year I requested and received some clothing items from the churches Humanitarian Services Department.  I have lost my contact information for the person I was working with last year. 

 I am wondering if we could do the same thing this year.  The area that my unit serves is rural and very poor.  Many children do not have shoes.  What I am requesting are shoes and coats.  Believe it or not it actually gets fairly cold here in the winter months.  Not as cold as Utah, but down into the 30s & 40s. 

 I cc’d Brother Frank Clawson who is the director of the churches Military Relations Department, just in case you needed to verify that this a legitimate request.

 Thank you for your consideration of this matter. Blessings,

 Chaplain Brandon S. Harding



I offered you an interview in an email I sent you yesterday . Are you able to make it?




(Thanks Brian and Rebecca for talking about our Concert on your morning show of FM100)


The Peer Leaders at North Ogden Jr. High are interested in promoting the Letters To Soldiers campaign.  Please let us know more specific information.


Dominique Sanders


Dominique Sanders
NOJH Counselor


09/24/08 Thank you DJ Shawn Phillips for offering to DJ the dance fundraiser.

"Jaden would love to participate. Anytime during the 1st two weeks in Nov would be fine.

Thanks for all your hard work in lifting the spirits of our brave troops.

You truly are an inspiration to us all.

Jeff Bliss"


THank you Coach Mark Weber and the BYU Football team for signing BYU Football team items and writing letters to add to this effort!!! Thank you BYU AThletic Department Bob and Cindy WAkefield for your help.

"Do you have specifications for the stockings?  Also, the knit/crochet caps?  I would like to help."  Deanna.

Hi Denise,

 We would love to donate 1,000 copies of “The Christmas Box” to your cause for the soldiers.  Would it be possible for you to pick them up at the office?  I just need to know when you would be here so I can get them from the warehouse.

 Our address is: .


 Chrystal H.

Richard Paul Evans, Inc.


Saw you ad, what is the timeline for gathering stuff?  I just started knitting these really cute fingerless gloves, I’d love to get a bunch knit up and donate them.  Let me know. Would knit hats be better fingerless gloves or both? Stuff for both men and women? Are there guidelines on colors or anything?





 Thanks for the email!  When could we set up an interview with anyone involved with this program? And, get some pictures of the donations, boxes, etc?

 Andy Teerlink

Managing Editor

ABC 4 News”


I am interested in sending letters to soldiers. Please send me contacts and or information on how I can do this.
Thank you,

Kimberly Anne Marie B.


 “Denise can I forward this to the radio station? Simmons Movin 100.7

Maybe we can do a fund raiser DANCE ??? suggestions????

I sent your last email to the radio station and havent heard anything back yet.

I really need for them to get behind this. I can offer my services to play music

 Shawn Phillips”

“My name is Lisa C. and I live in Holly Springs, NC.  Last year you assisted me in helping to send the Christmas cards that my daughter, her classmates, and her neighborhood friends made to the troops overseas. 

 I would love to assist and am already thinking of ways to do so.  I know the children LOVED making cards last year and perhaps we could make stockings from felt and decorative for the men and women overseas.  I could easily get 100 stockings made as well as 100 Christmas cards along with a monetary donation of $100.

 Would that help?


Lisa C.”


"Denise D.

The Governor will be happy to provide some welcoming remarks at the beginning of this event."


 Let's help an organization that has been sending letters to soldiers since 2003 and was started by a soldier serving in Iraq:

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE


I received this from another organization, and just wanted everyone to know:

To all Any Soldier House Raffle ticket purchasers,

Today is October 31, 2008, and we only have 450 tickets for the raffle, a very large shortfall of the 9000 tickets we need. We have one opportunity to extend the date to December 31, 2008, with the drawing to be held on January 15, 2009.

Please tell all your family and friends about the raffle's extension and ask for their support. Without a large TV media coverage (which we have been trying for two months, but it seems the economy and the election have taken every minute of their time), we need everyone's help and support to make this happen for our troops. Also, if you know of any TV media, Radio, newspaper, website that might be interested, there is press release on the website. Feel free to contact them yourselves or have contact me by e-mail at .

I have not given up yet and hope that the holidays give us a burst of sales that we need. God Bless to you all and cross your fingers.

Also - Many of our raffle ticket purchasers indicated they would like us to retain the proceeds even if the conditions of the raffle were not met. We very much appreciate your support of Any Soldier. Because we are conducting the raffle pursuant to regulated requirements, we are unable to retain the funds and will return your money as set forth in the raffle rules if we do not meet our required amount of ticket sales. However, we are a non-profit charitable organization and depend upon public contributions to continue providing our services. If you would like to resubmit the funds, we would be very grateful for the donation. Because the funds will be contributed as a donation, they will be tax deductible for these purposes. So, if for some reason the raffle does not go off, I will send an e-mail with this same paragraph reminding people of their options. Thank you.

Christina Christina <>