Day of Service and gratitude

Published 10:51 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Suffolk Public Library staff will engage Suffolk for donations and hand-written letters in support of armed service members.

For its next Day of Service on Saturday, the library is partnering with Hampton Roads United Service Organizations, which provides morale and recreation services to members of the military and their families. These services include use of free lounges at several Virginia airports.

Residents can drop off individually packaged snacks and beverages at any Suffolk library location through Saturday. These donations will be collected by Hampton Roads USO for military men and women.

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“Obviously we are a community that is profoundly touched by the military,” said Community Services Librarian Matthew Thompson. “These folks are our neighbors and community members, and this is a meaningful thing that we can do to express our thanks, particularly around the holiday season when people are in the giving mood.”

Residents can express their gratitude further by writing letters and signing cards on Saturday at Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W. Washington St. This will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and all ages are welcome to participate.

These letters and cards of appreciation will be collected by Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit dedicated to encouraging the U.S. military and first responder communities while also meeting their needs. One of the ways they accomplish this is through care packages that are individually addressed to those deployed men and women, veterans, first responders and new recruits.

Operation Gratitude sends more than 300,000 care packages annually, according to the nonprofit’s website, and each package contains snacks, personal hygiene products, entertainment and handmade tokens of gratitude like these letters of support that will be made on Saturday at Morgan Memorial.

“It’s very easy to do and having that thing in your hand — the warmth of a letter — I think is really special,” Thompson said.

You do not need to be a library member to participate on Saturday. Visit and for more information.