Restaurant Manager Collects More than 3,000 Christmas Cards for Service Members

Quaker Steak and Lube (Johnstown, PA)
Quaker Steak and Lube (Johnstown, PA)

A Pennsylvania restaurant manager wanted to pay it forward by collecting more than 3,000 Christmas cards to send to servicemembers overseas.

“I’ve always had this love for the military and everything they do for us,” Patty Beam, 48, told People magazine. “I wanted to pay it forward somehow.”

Beam has worked as a restaurant manager for the past 15 months at the Quaker Steak & Lube in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

On December 1, she decided to place a wicker basket at the front of the restaurant, encouraging patrons to drop off holiday cards for members of the military.

“I thought I’d get maybe 100 cards, tops,” Beam said.

But people came in droves to the restaurant to show their support, and within a few weeks, Beam amassed more than 3,000 cards.

One woman, whose husband Beam said died while serving overseas, recently dropped off 300 cards.

A local elementary school also dropped off 150 cards signed by students.

Each week, Beam drops off a heavy bag filled with cards at the Johnstown Army Recruiting Office, which has assisted in mailing and delivering the cards to service members.

Although the office cannot say exactly where those letters are going, Beam requested that the letters be evenly distributed between the Army, the Marines, and the Navy.

“I want these soldiers to know that when they come home, they won’t just be coming home to their friends or families, but a whole community that’s cheering them on,” Beam says.

Beam is not the only one to embark on a project to send holiday cards to service members. In November 2019, a New Hampshire grandmother started a holiday card drive where she eventually collected 100,000 cards to send to members of the military overseas.

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