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I would like to introduce you to Warrant Officer Harry, a 96 year-old veteran from South London. Harry was a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner with 427 Squadron on Halifax Bombers, he was shot down by a Night Fighter on 22nd October 1943 and spent the rest of the war as a Prisoner of War in Stalag Luft VII.
Harry has been inundated with Christmas cards from strangers across the globe wishing him well after he admitted to a friend that he felt lonely and isolated.
That friend, Jules Walker a former Royal Marine and one of our first Home Helpers to register, decided to brighten up Harry’s Christmas and make him feel valued by asking all of his friends, far and wide, to send Harry a Christmas card this year to thank him for his service.
Jules says: “Harry is a real star with a huge warm heart. He is a super special guy and I want him to feel that he’s appreciated and is never alone.”
To date, Harry has received over 198 cards and two parcels, with some coming from as far away as Sweden, America and Australia. A pre-school in Hawaii has even picked up on the message and Harry was the topic of their assembly on ‘giving back’.
These simple acts of kindness have lifted Harry’s spirits.
Jules remarks:‘To hear that spring of excitement in his voice has truly made today a bright, bright day.’
According to Age UK, almost one million older people will feel more alone during the Christmas season. The ‘One More Card’ campaign aims to encourage you to drop a Christmas card into a neighbour who you know is alone this season. So, whilst you are sat writing your Christmas cards over this week, how about writing one extra this year? The chances are this seemingly small of act of kindness will have a big effect.
New research by Royal Mail has revealed that traditional Christmas cards are still our favourite way of sending festive wishes, even among younger generations. The research also showed that Christmas cards are an important part of the festive atmosphere - over three quarters of respondents agreed that Christmas cards help spread festive cheer and goodwill, and almost 70% use them as Christmas decorations around the house.
Imagine how many more spirits can be lifted if we each add another name to our Christmas card list. After all, cards are physical reminders that people do care and it’s often when the cards start arriving that we begin to feel festive and connected to friends and family. Our homes are decorated with cards, each representing a connection with someone giving us a sense of belonging.