Eversource signs on to Holiday Card Challenge

MANCHESTER – Eversource Energy is once again signing on to Laura Landerman-Garber’s “Holiday Cards 4 Our Military-NH Challenge.” The company hosted a special gathering at its Manchester office on Thursday to kickoff this year’s campaign.

The challenge is now in its third year, and only gaining more momentum. Landerman-Garber is striving to send 50,000 holiday cards to active duty members of the military this holiday season, with 10,000 going to each branch. In an effort to help her meet this goal, Eversource is encouraging employees across New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut to sign cards starting this week.

Aside from signing cards, a number of speakers shared their appreciation for her initiative, while members of the state’s entire congressional delegation sent representatives with letters on their behalf. Gov. Chris Sununu also supplied a letter. What began as a small family tradition has now blossomed into a statewide challenge.

“This started 16 years ago with a family tradition at the Thanksgiving table,” Landerman-Garber said.

Moreover, Eversource Chief Regulatory Counsel Robert Bersak highlighted the sacrifices soldiers make while on active duty. He said in some cases, these men and women have to leave their day job, while leaving their family behind to go protect the country. Long before becoming an Eversource official, he was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and highlighted the struggles that can come with serving the country.

“You’re under a great deal of stress, and anything that can be something that can relieve those stresses is good, such as holiday cards from people just saying ‘thank you,'” Bersak said.

He said receiving a holiday card can go a long way toward helping military folks understand they are appreciated. While speaking to all who had gathered for the kickoff, he pulled out a small card he had received several years ago. It was from Thorntons Ferry School in Merrimack, and said, “Thank you for keeping us safe.'” He has kept it on his desk for years now because it means that much to him.

“We can all have the same result that this little card had for me to a much broader, greater audience,” Bersak said. “Bring some happiness and joy to members of our military by participating in the Holiday Card Challenge. A short thank you for your service is all it takes. Longer, more personal notes will even be more appreciated. This takes a little time and caring, you don’t have to open up your wallets for this one, just your hearts.”

One of the co-leaders of the Veterans Business Resource Group at Eversource, Tom Davis, said he had served in the U.S. Navy during the second Gulf War, and that these cards really mean a lot for the folks who get them. He said it is a reminder of why they are doing what they are for the country.

Another military man was also present for the event, and spoke as well. However, he traveled all the way from Washington, D.C. last night to be there for Landerman-Garber. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jason Johnson is a legislative liaison and remembers quite well the first phone call he received from Landerman-Garber. While sitting at his desk, he received a call from someone saying they are from New Hampshire. At first ,he thought it was a scam, but when he learned she was calling with the question of how to get thousands of holiday cards shipped overseas to active duty member of the military, he was interested. They have now established a good friendship, and he is continuing to support her initiative by helping to get all of these cards where they need to go.

Another special guest present for the event was Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig.

“I’m so thrilled to announce today that the Manchester Public School District is fully on board for the first time, so every school will be participating this year,” Craig said.

Furthermore, the deadline for all holiday cards is Oct. 31. Anyone looking for more information about the challenge can reach Landerman-Garber at HolidayCardsNH@gmail.com, or check out the nonprofit’s website at, http://militaryholidaycardchallenge.com/. Additionally, the challenge can also be found on Facebook.