When Savannah Madison Ogden learned that her best friend’s dad would be deployed to Afghanistan for an entire year, she was heartbroken. But she was also inspired to find a way to support him and the rest of the troops stationed there.
“I can’t imagine my parents going away for that long,” the 11-year-old told the Today Show. “That would crush me.”
As she brainstormed with her buddy, the two realized that they could comfort the servicemen and servicewomen living so far away from home by sending them heartfelt letters, expressing their appreciation for their sacrifice. That’s when “Savannah’s Soldiers,” a campaign that’s already encouraged kids to send 10,000 letters to troops in Afghanistan, was born, according to Savannah’s website.
“I want for each soldier to hear from us back in the states often,” the South Florida girl wrote.
But what started out as a local effort is starting to spread like wildfire. At first, Savannah and her friends would collect about 30 letters a week and work at her kitchen table sending them out, Today reports. Now, the determined girl is speaking at schools and even at professional baseball games to encourage kids to write to troops.
While her campaign is spreading, so is the gratitude from troops in Afghanistan.
“Anything from home always makes you feel good,” Capt. Bryan Durham told Today. “When you get a letter from a little kid saying, ‘Good job,’ ‘We’re thinking of you,’ ‘Thank you,’ You can’t explain it.”
But the do-gooder isn’t satisfied with just getting 10,000-plus letters out. She hopes to inspire kids in all 50 states to get involved.