On Tuesday October 21st Chi Omega held their third annual Kisses for the Troops letter-writing event at their house on West Jefferson Street. The kitchen was decorated with red, white and blue, and there were tubes of lipstick and letters covering the tables. It was a casual drop-by event, perfect for busy college students, and everyone had the opportunity to write as many letters as they desired. There was live music, desserts and a photo area, where you could take pictures with funny America-themed props.
Students gathered to snack on some delicious desserts and rally behind an uplifting cause—writing letters to our soldiers overseas and our veterans, for their service to our country.
The 1,500 letters of thanks and well wishes will be sent through an organization called A Million Thanks, and active and reserve members and veterans all over the world will receive them. Each handwritten letter is sealed with a kiss, before being sent, to signify the love from Chi Omega and the Florida State community.
I have personally attended Chi O’s Kisses for the Troops for the past two years and both times I have been impressed with both the hospitality and excitement shown by all the sisters, and the vast number of letters written by the FSU population.
Chi O’s Philanthropy Director, Liza Larranaga explained how this event got started.
“It began with the Philanthropy Director before me; she had a boyfriend at a military school who was planning to join the Army. Her interest in wanting to help the troops led her to create this event. It was something she was passionate about, and when she shared the idea with the chapter we all were on board to participate. I continued the tradition because everyone loved the event and it is such a great and meaningful cause.”
The support for the event was clear as members of the community packed into the Chi Omega house alongside the sisters. Knowing that others will benefit greatly from such a simple task made it easy to do.
“I really love how doing something so simple can make you feel like you’re really making an impact and putting a smile on someone’s face who probably really needs it,” Chi O Sister, Kelly Holden said about the event.
Liza continued to explain how rewarding it is to see how many people come out to the event just to write a simple postcard for our troops.
“To see how many people come to show their appreciation for our military is incredible.”
Almost everyone has a tie to the military somehow, even if it is not easily recognized at first.
“At the event, a cop at the house said how thankful he was that we were hosting this because he is a veteran. He told us how much the troops would appreciate it and how thankful they would be,” Liza said.
Chi Omega hopes to continue hosting Kisses for the Troops in the future and can’t wait to see how the event will grow.