“I think every person serving our country and not able to be at home with family during the holidays deserves a token of our gratitude. That’s why I write letters—it’s a simple gesture that goes a long way.”

Sarah Beth Todd — Pricing Analyst, Georgia Power, Atlanta, Ga.

Letters bring comfort to many service men and women stationed overseas, especially during the holidays. Sarah Beth Todd saw a chance to do her part by rallying co-workers, family members and school students to handwrite 1,600 thank-you letters to U.S. military members abroad.

Sarah Beth co-chaired an effort to engage Georgia Power employees in writing letters for an annual initiative by an Atlanta radio station morning program. That show’s efforts have resulted in writing and sending more than a million letters to U.S. military deployed abroad during Thanksgiving in the last eight years.

“I was surprised by the number of letters we received. My goal was to send 1,000 letters and we far exceeded that,” said Sarah Beth. “I’ve spoken to a soldier who received one of these letters, and she said her favorite time other than going home is mail time. It really hit home how much these letters mean to military members.”

Sarah Beth and a team engaged the Military Veterans in Power, one of Georgia Power’s employee resource groups, as a partner to help make the campaign a success. Volunteers across the project team and employee resource group created marketing materials, manned tables at company events and provided special stationery for participants to use when writing their letters in company break rooms across the company.

In addition, the team encouraged employees to take action and coordinate a letter-writing event of their own at work, church, community or sports groups, children’s classrooms or clubs. Sarah Beth is already organizing the project for 2017 and is increasing the goal to send at least 2,000 letters.