IBERIA — Northmor alumni Sam Beal and Gary Baker took great pride in honoring the Northmor School District Caring Hearts as “Number One in the nation” for their correspondence with active men and women in the military.
Beal began the presentation by telling some history about another national first the county had 100 years ago when Morrow County received the Victory Shaft in Mount Gilead for selling the most war bonds in the nation in 1917 and 1918 during World War I.
Baker and Beal presented a flag from Amvets Post 87 at the Thursday Senior Recognition program at Northmor High School (NHS) in recognition of the honor for the school. They gave the flag to NHS English teacher LaNeta Wertz. She started the project of writing letters right after the attacks of 9/11 in 2001.
“Last year we sent over 10,000 cards,” Wertz said as she described how they started writing letters in the high school. It was a great writing project for an English classroom.
Now students throughout K-12 in the district participate in writing letters and families also work on packs of letters over the summer and throughout the year. The district now works with a group that has been sending cards and care packages since the war in Vietnam.
Operation Caring Hearts has now branched out to do care packages from time to time. Groups like the high school’s National Honor Society participate. They have also started to include veterans and Veterans homes in Ohio.
“The staff and I are facilitators,” Wertz said. “We now see what students are enthusiastic about and they take the initiative in what projects to push.”
The plaque on the flag case states: “AMVETS Post 87 Recognizes Operation Caring Hearts for their commitment from 9-11 to 2018 to the Christmas Card Mailing for Friends of the troops to active men and women in the military.”