Support our troops!

On a bright and sunny day, I attended El Segundo’s Richmond Street Elementary School to watch and help at an event. Bellsy Hale, sophomore at El Segundo High School, and president and founder of the ESHS club, Support Our Troops, and Richmond Street Elementary School parent Jennifer Stenstrom, put on an all-day, school-wide “pop-up” event of writing letters to
soldiers. This event was a
surprise event for the kindergarten to fifth grade students, thus called a “pop-up” event.  


At this event, every student wrote at least
one Valentine letter to a soldier fighting for our freedom. The pop-up was staged on the blacktop of
Richmond School and there were many tables all decorated in red, white and blue,
and there were decorations saying “Support our Troops.” But, my personal
favorite decoration was the “mailbox.” The mailbox was large, tall and decorated in all blue with white stars. Watching
kids go up to the mailbox and putting their letters in it was adorable. All of the decorations were made by Ms.
Stenstrom and her husband, Peter. They made a great team. The
decorations and the smiling faces overall made it a wonderful, magical day.

goal set by Ms. Stenstrom and Bellsy’s ESHS club is to get at least 1,000
letters for the soldiers by Valentine’s Day, so that every single soldier at
one station will hear their name at mail call. The organization is where all of these
letters will find their new homes. Stenstrom recaps that event as, “Great. The kids were excited. We have lots of cards, and hopefully lots of
smiles from our troops when they receive their cards.”

The children showed joy at the event. The artwork they did
was inspiring because only such innocent minds can truly capture the
importance of this event. It was fun to watch the kids run around with their
friends showing each other their letters. Some of the kids wrote letters to
their fathers who are serving our country, and some of the girls wrote love
letters to the high school volunteers, which was a mixture of funny and


The city of El Segundo thanked the
principal of Richmond Street Elementary School, Mrs. Ramirez, the ESHS
club Support our Troops, the students who volunteered their time, and the RSS
parent and grandparent volunteers, including Ms. Stenstrom for making the event happen. They also thanked the RSS PTA for sponsoring the event and purchasing the supplies.  El Segundo is lucky to have so many dedicated
volunteers, it is part of what makes El Segundo a special community.  

So from El Segundo to the brave men and women
who serve our wonderful country, thank you! Your sacrifices for our safety just show your courage,
honor, and dignity. We are happy to send support. Thank you, to each individual
fighting for us.  

If you would like to make letters to contribute to the 1,000 Valentine’s goal, please send cards to 531 Main Street, El Segundo California, 90245. 

—Cece Jane