Students studying outside the library
Stationery company, students send notes of support to ailing vets(2)

By Trevor Anderson
For the Herald-Journal
Friday, January 24, 2014

A local business and Spartanburg County students helped bring cheer to hundreds of veterans this past holiday season.

In November, Mary-Grace Wallace, owner of WritefullyHis LLC, an ecumenical stationery company that gives a portion of its proceeds to purchase school supplies for children in East Africa, launched a Christmas campaign to bring glad tidings to patients at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

Wallace supplied students all over the county from kindergarten to fifth grade with high-quality cards. She visited several schools to present the program with the help of U.S. Army Lt. Jeremy Boeh, who serves as director of The Space to Launch at Wofford College's Mungo Center for Professional Excellence.

As part of the campaign, which was funded by Michael S. Brown, a Wofford benefactor and member of her advisory board, Wallace sold the cards in her downtown pop-up shop. She also was able to supply cards for Converse College students.

In total, she said 1,700 cards were signed and delivered. About 1,200 came from local elementary schools, 200 were from Converse and the rest were bought in the shop or online by customers from as far away as New Jersey.

"It was such a blessing to me to see how well this was supported," Wallace says. "I was amazed by how much even the youngest writers showed their appreciation for the men and women who have sacrificed everything to serve our country."

The Atlanta VA Medical Center is at 1670 Clairmont Road in Decatur, Ga. It is part of the VA Southeast Network, which includes facilities in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.

The Atlanta VA provides highly specialized care for veterans, including open-heart surgery and cancer therapies. The Atlanta market covers more than 130,000 enrolled veterans living in 50 counties and 10 congressional districts in northeast Georgia.

"We cannot thank Ms. Wallace and all the students enough for devoting their time and effort to honor and recognize our veterans," said Greg Kendall, Atlanta VA Medical Center public affairs officer. "The hand-written messages meant a lot to them, more than I could ever express."

Wallace said she plans to continue the campaign in 2014 and hopes to expand it to include other VA facilities in South Carolina.

She said school supplies cost $5 per child, per term in Africa. WritefullyHis was able to support 182 children for an entire school term with funding raised by the campaign.

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