Can a simple “thank you” possibly be enough?

A kind and compassionate friend of mine began a wonderful ministry a couple years ago entitled Project 15. Borne out of the desire to thank veterans and other military personnel when she ran into them at various places with the thought, “If only I had a thank you note to give them” running through her head, she came up with a plan. The concept is perfectly simple: business card-sized thank you notes that offer a heartfelt note of appreciation to anyone related to our troops. Anyone wanting to be involved can easily carry the cards in a wallet or purse. When out around town, if the carrier comes across a car with a veteran’s license plate or the like–or even better, if encountering an active duty soldier in uniform, a pre-made genuine thank you is ready to be delivered.

It seems too easy, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, these men and women have sacrificed much for our country. How could a small card possibly be enough? That was my thought at first, even though I instantly loved the idea. I’ve often seen men or women in uniform when out with the kids and have encouraged them to shake hands with them. The cards are just a great way to convey a powerful thanks.

When Megin (Project 15’s founder) spoke in church one morning, she changed my mind about the card being “a small thing.” She relayed stories about veterans being truly touched by the gesture, and one particular story about a man who had served in Vietnam and confessed that the card had been the first thanks he had ever received. I was at once convinced that thank yous don’t have to be grandiose to be genuine. I took a pack of cards and anxiously awaited my first opportunity to give one out.

That first chance came when I parked behind a Jeep at Plato’s Closet. I was so excited! Knowing I would probably not ever see the reaction of the receiver, I was still so happy to be sharing a card. Hopefully the driver took it well. Actually, I rather like the anonymous nature of the card left for the person to discover later.

I’ve given several cards out since picking up my packet from Megin, but never in person. That is, until today. I have to share a blessing from today. It is always so wonderful on my end to slip a card into a window when I see a car with a veteran license plate, but until today, the knowledge of placing the card was the only reward (which, frankly, is enough. What a rush!) Anyway, when I pulled into the parking lot of a local business this afternoon where I often go, I saw a plate and placed a card on the driver’s side door. The owner saw me do it, and I knew he had gone out after I walked by to check it out. I was a bit unsure as to what, if any, his reaction would be. Would he advise me not to leave cards on his customers’ cars? Little did I know until leaving that it was *his* car. He was noticeably moved when thanking ME for the card and actually teared up. Imagine! A man whose dad had been in Hiroshima two weeks after the bomb, uncles who were in D-Day and Korea, brothers who had had military careers, and a career himself, was thanking me. It didn’t feel like a simple card could possibly be enough thanks, but he said the little things mean more than the big things. What a blessing to both of us.

To Megin and Project 15, I must share a big thank you for this ministry…for a tangible way to say thank you to those who have served and sacrificed.

If you are interested in requesting cards to keep with you to share, please email Project 15 at project15@live.com or look them up on Facebook. It doesn’t take any extra time and it could profoundly affect someone who deserves our gratitude.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ourabbottadventures
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 00:06:23

    Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing about Project 15, I’m
    definitely going to get some cards.

    Reply

  2. John Fennell
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 11:33:56

    Deb: I would like to present this to our DAR chapter as a project, since we are so involved in the veterans. I can’t operate Facebook. is there any other way i could get these cards to copy for our members?????   thanks for your help, Mom   I know you are going to be busy this week-end, and the weather is supposed to be bad, so next week any time is fine. Be safe this week-end!!!!!!! Janice Fennell

    Reply

  3. Nancy Shirey
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 16:55:01

    Nice, Want my kids address and you can send one to them.
    They are both serving our country and my other son is taking about
    joining the marines too. Miss you Nancy Shirey

    Reply

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