The statewide Friends Program is leading a project for the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance that encourages and engages people of all ages to show their support for active armed services members, their families and veterans.

The agency hopes to send more than 5,000 letters and notes to Operation Appreciation, run by Blue Star Families, which will distribute them to active personnel, their families and veterans of all branches of military service.

A survey of military families showed that 92 percent of them feel that the country doesn’t understand their challenges.

The project began when Friends RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) and Foster Grandparent Program started asking their senior volunteers and the organizations and schools they serve to write letters to support the troops.

Soon, the whole agency was involved and many other organizations have joined the effort. N.H. AmeriCorps, Girls Inc., schools, after-school programs, senior centers and nursing homes, among others, are participating.

Some organizations are hosting letter-writing events and some are encouraging their members to write letters on their own. Anyone can write one or more of any length, as long as they contain positive expressions of appreciation.

Organizations or individuals who wish to join the effort can drop off letters at the locations listed or mail them to the Friends Program: Derry Parks and Recreation; Hampstead: Island Pond Baptist Church; Kingston: First Congregational Church; Londonderry Senior Center; Salem Senior Center.

RSVP and Foster Grandparent Program are Senior Corps programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Friends Program is a nonprofit human services agency serving eight New Hampshire counties, based in Concord. The agency has been operating since 1975. Visit

For questions or other drop-off arrangements, email or call 1-800-536-1193, Ext. 214.

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