For the second year in a row, employees of the Department of Administration organized a special project to honor Kansas military veterans and members of the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Capitol Police by presenting them with handmade cards of appreciation.
The cards were delivered on Feb. 18 and 19 to Capitol Police staff who work throughout the complex and to veterans who are patients at the Colmery-O’Neil Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The trip to the VA coincides with the annual National Salute to Veteran Patient Week.
The project is coordinated by members of the Department of Administration’s Community Service Committee, which organizes several charitable activities throughout the year to benefit the Greater Topeka area.
“This is one of our favorite projects of the year because we are able to involve employees and their families to say thanks to those who have served our nation, as well as the Capitol Police, who watch over and keep us safe each day,” said John Milburn, Director of Legislative and Public Affairs.
The cards were made by the children of Department of Administration employees, including several area Girl Scout troops who took on the task as an additional community service project of their own and the Holy Family Montessori Pre-School. A special thank-you was inserted in each card expressing gratitude for service. In addition, homemade cookies were given to the Capitol Police staff.
Over 150 cards were constructed. Employees handed out dozens to patients at the VA, Milburn said, with remainder placed on evening meal trays to those who were unable to be visited.
“The support that we get for this project is tremendous and it warms your heart to see the smiles on the veterans’ faces,” Milburn said. “When you place a card in a veteran’s hand, though, you had better be prepared for a big handshake and maybe to shed a tear or two. It can be quite emotional.”
Assisting with the delivery of the cards were Sonia Sprouse, Marilyn Revell, Leilah Grace Thompson, Mary Greb-Hall, Jo Boswell and John Milburn.