Soldiers' Angels: Emily's Story
The deployed military and their families sacrifice so much for us, just so that we can live our lives. Many of Compare.com’s staff are ex-military and even more have family members who are actively deployed. We knew that we had to find a way to give thanks.
One of Compare.com’s employees, Emily, works with Soldiers’ Angels in her spare time, writing letters to deployed service members. We loved this idea. Deployed service members can feel down and something as simple as a letter from home can give them that extra boost. We spoke to Emily about how she got involved with Soldiers’ Angels.
I was looking for a way of giving back, but with my work and personal life schedule, I knew I couldn’t commit to anything with a fixed time. Around Christmas 2015, I was looking for a way of spreading some festive cheer and came across Soldiers’ Angels. You could send packages to deployed soldiers for Christmas, but I wanted to have something that I could continue to do all year. That’s when I found the letter writing team. With them, I can write wherever I am, at any time, even when I’m at home in my pajamas!
How often do you write to the soldiers?
The Letter Writing Team specify that you need to write at least one letter a month to stay a valid member. This is perfect for anyone with a busy schedule, as it’s very flexible and not too much commitment. That said, writing can soon become addictive and one letter a month soon can turn into two letters a week. I generally write at least once a week, it’s very therapeutic and great to feel like I’m making a difference. When I get replies, it gives me such a buzz.
What kind of things do you write about?
The great thing about writing letters is that there are no rules! I write about my day, my family, where I want to travel, past experiences, anything that comes to mind. Deployed members often write back saying that getting a letter from home is such a wonderful reminder of what they’re fighting for. What you write about doesn’t matter, it matters that you’re thinking of them.
When did Compare.com get involved?
Memorial Day was coming up in 2015 and we had organized a BBQ for staff. Memorial Day is intended to mark a day where we can all remember those that have fought on our behalf. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to draw on my experience with Soldiers’ Angels. Staff bought thank you cards and the Compare.com employees signed them. We sent those to deployed service members that we knew were struggling and really needed an extra boost. Now, every Memorial Day, we sign cards for deployed service members. It’s become a real staple of the community service calendar at work.
What’s next for Compare.com’s & Soldiers’ Angels?
In 2017, we collected candy for Halloween and sent it to deployed troops across the world. Each year, we all end up with loads of leftover candy and I personally know that if I keep it, I’ll eat it! Sending it on to someone that would really appreciate it is always a good choice.