By Tracy Correa
BAKERSFIELD – A simple card can make a huge difference for military men and women away from their families during the holidays.
For the past few weeks, PG&E employees have been involved in a card-making effort to help bring a little seasonal cheer to military members, including veterans.
In cubicles, offices and conference rooms in Bakersfield, Fresno and Ceres, workers have taken glitter, stickers and markers to colorful construction paper and designed their own hand-made greetings. With words like, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Holidays,” the cards are designed to lift the spirits of those who have given so much to their country. Many contain simple but heartfelt messages inside, such as “Thank you for your service.”
The cards are going to the American Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes program, part of an annual effort to place personal, holiday greeting cards into the hands of troops during the holiday season.
PG&E employee Laura Flores, an energy solutions engineer in Bakersfield, helped make some of the cards that were recently given to the local Red Cross chapter. She was one of nearly two dozen employees in the downtown Bakersfield office and service center who attended card-making sessions in recent weeks.
“It’s just really good to be able to say ‘thanks’ for what these soldiers have done,” said Flores. And while individually designing and writing each card may take a bit longer, it was well-worth the effort, she said: “I think when they are handmade, they are more personal.”
For Flores, a new PG&E employee, the card-making session also allowed her to connect a bit more with office co-workers. The Bakersfield card-craft session included baked goods and Christmas music.
The Bakersfield employees created nearly 70 cards that were recently handed over to the American Red Cross.
Not to be outdone, employees in Fresno also made more than 100 cards, and card-making continues in Fresno as well as in Ceres. The effort is similar to past years where PG&E employees made hundreds of cards for troops.
Veronique Royer, service coordinator and office manager of the American Red Cross office in Bakersfield, said the cards are being sorted early next week and she hopes to top the 2,000 collected locally last year.
Some of the Red Cross chapters will distribute the cards at home or abroad to active military members; the Bakersfield office is working locally with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to hand out to local veterans so that they don’t feel forgotten.
The cards go a long way to brighten up the holiday season for military men and women who are serving or have served our country and PG&E’s involvement is greatly appreciated, she said.
“They are beautiful,” Royer said of the cards created by PG&E employees. “When you make a personal card, it means even more,” she said.
Millions of cards are collected each year for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Click here to see some of the cards made by children for the program.
E-mail Tracy Correa at Tracy.Correa@pge.com