Woman gets head start on the holidays

Mayor joins movement to send holiday tidings to overseas troops

Staff photo by Adam Urquhart Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess welcomes Laura Landerman-Garber to his office Tuesday morning to show his support for her holiday card challenge. With a goal of collecting 25,000 holiday cards to distribute between each branch of the military, Donchess signed dozens of cards himself. In total, the Mayor’s Office signed 450 cards.

HOLLIS – Although it may only be August, one woman is looking to get a head start on the holidays by setting a goal of sending 25,000 cards to military personnel.

Last year, Laura Landerman-Garber set her goal at 5,000 holiday cards just for Navy sailors, but ended up receiving 17,000 in just six weeks. In building upon last year’s success, she’s now turned what was once a family tradition into a personal mission and a nonprofit, Holiday Cards 4 Our Military-NH Challenge.

This year, in expanding her project, she’s looking to send 5,000 cards to members of each branch of the military, and so far has collected about 1,000 cards. Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess added to that number Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. by personally signing dozens of cards. In total, the Mayor’s Office signed 450 holiday cards.

She thinks schools are going to be the main source of cards collected, but said a lot of churches have also been calling her.

“Eversource is working with me and BAE is processing an application for a grant,” Landerman-Garber said. “Eversource is having their veteran group get very involved, so I’m excited about that.”

Over the summer, she’s been able to secure additional card collection/drop-off sites, but said people can donate cards as well if they’re unable to make it out to one of the locations. She hopes to have all of the cards collected by the end of October so that they are ready to be mailed out in time for the holidays. When writing out holiday cards, she just asks that people sign them “Dear, Warrior” since this year’s project extends into all five branches of the military.

“Laura’s doing a really great job in reaching out to our veterans during the holidays, and they do so much for us, so we want to make sure that they know we care, and this project really does a lot to make it clear that we do care,” Donchess said.

If people have any questions or would like to donate toward the project, they can do so by emailing Landerman-Garber at HolidayCardsNH@gmail.com. There also is a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HolidayCardChallenge.

Drop-off sites

Hollis Pharmacy at 6 Ash St., Hollis

Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center at 30 Ash St., Hollis

Martha’s Exchange at 185 Main St., Nashua

Hairthurium LLC at 30 Daniel Webster Highway, unit 16, Merrimack

Seedling Cafe and Catering at 246 Daniel Webster Highway

Fulchino Winery at 187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis

Also, starting next week, Sal’s Pizza at 80 Storrs St., Concord