Not Your Traditional Pen Pal Program
September 3, 2020
There’s one thing we know for sure here at Soldiers’ Angels: Letter writing is not a lost art. Between our Letter Writing Team and Deployed Adoptions Team, we have thousands of angels who send letters to deployed service members. Throughout the year, we field a lot of questions about our Letter Writing Team from people looking for a Pen Pal. In fact, we get several emails a week from people who want to be a “pen pal” to a service member.
While we do have a team that writes and sends letters, it is not a traditional pen pal program. Angels on our Letter Writing Team do send letters, but they are typically a one time commitment. While service members do sign up for the program, they are not required to write back.
“The Letter Writing Team is a one-time letter to a deployed service member and not a traditional pen-pal opportunity. We do not require service members to respond to support received, as their mission is always first. However, very often our service members do write back and when they do, they can absolutely continue to communicate with the service member. We just ask that they write their initial one-time letter and only write again, if they receive a response back from the service member written,” explains Tracy Curran, Deployed Support Teams Program Manager.
How our Letter Writing Team works
One of the small joys while deployed is to hear your name called at mail call. Sadly, some service members don’t get mail from back home. That’s why the Letter Writing Team was created! Our Letter Writing Team (LWT) is a team of amazing Angels who enjoy writing to our heroes. These angels write a one-time letter to a service member who is waiting for adoption through the Deployed Adoptions Team and to those who might need additional support. Angels on this team are required to write a minimum of one letter per month, but can write many more during the month, if they choose!
“Our letter writing team provides you the opportunity to write up to three service members a day. While this is considered a one-time opportunity, meaning that you are only asked to write one letter to each service member, should you hear back from a service member you can certainly write him/her back as long as you are writing to a new service member at least once a month. The extra letters you write are considered additional support.” – Susie Turner, Team Support Volunteer Manager
What a lot of people don’t realize, is that our Deployed Adoptions Team (DAT) is actually more suited for building a supportive relationship with a service member. Angels on the Deployed Adoptions team are assigned a service member to support throughout their entire deployment. The requirement is to send one care package and one letter to the assigned service member once per month. Again, they are not required to write back, but are more likely to write back eventually as more care packages come. We’ve seen so many beautiful friendships blossom from this team. Angels learn more about their service members’ likes and needs and get very good at sending amazing care packages that brighten their days. A DAT Angel can support up to three service members at a time. This team is composed of thousands of dedicated Angels who invest their own time and funds to support thousands of our valued service members annually.
“Soldiers’ Angels has been wonderful to my husband while he has been deployed. This is his first deployment and it is such a morale boost to get mail while he’s away from family. Our ‘volunteer angel’ has been wonderful and made sure to send things that my husband has requested or needed. We both appreciate all that they do!” -Suzanne
As you can see, our programs may not be traditional pen pal programs, but they are very rewarding and do a lot of good for those who sacrifice for us daily. Want to sign-up to become an angel? Click here to start the Angel Verification process and then choose the team you’d like to join.