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Havre Catholic Daughters sharing Christmas with veterans


December 10, 2019

Members of a local service organization in Havre are sending veterans across the state a Christmas card because everyone deserves to be remembered and appreciated during the holiday season, Catholic Daughters of America Havre organizer Sue Swan said.

“We wanted to touch the folks who were kind of jobless and maybe elderly,” she said.

The Catholic Daughters of America is a non-profit service organization that engages in creative and spiritual programs which provide its members with the opportunity to develop their talents in meaningful ways that positively influence the welfare of the church and all people throughout the world, its website said.

Swan said that one of the main focuses of the organization is veterans. Last year, an individual donated a large number of cards to the organization, Swan said. She added that the state has many veterans and she thought it was a good idea to do something to show appreciation to the people who have served the country in the armed forces.

“I thought this was a good way to use those cards,” swan said.

She said this is the second year that they have sent out cards to veterans for Christmas and although they never know who they are sending the cards to, the most important part is to give and not expect anything in return.

“The whole idea is, once it leaves your hand, it’s out of your hands,” Swan said, adding they wouldn’t be sending the cards if people didn’t need them. 

She said that she understands the importance of sending people cards. At one time, she was a nursing home patient herself and she greatly appreciated every note and card people would send her.

“It’s kind of paying it forward,” she said.

She added that she has called the two veteran nursing homes in Montana, Eastern Montana Veterans Home in Glendive and Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls, to get the number of residents at each facility who will need cards. She also called the St. Vincent de Paul Grace Home in Great Falls, which is a veterans homeless shelter. 

Once she gets a total, they will get to work, Swan said. In each card, she said, they write “Thank you for your service,” and “Christmas Blessings,” as well as other things. She added that this year they were able to send more than 200 cards to veterans across the state. She said they do not get specific names, only a number of people who will need them.

The Catholic Daughters of America Havre also has its own stamps, to let people know where the cards are coming from, she said. Once the cards are filled out, she said they are mailed to the different facilities.

Some of the members of the Catholic Daughters are in their 90s and are unable to get out to do a lot of things, Swan said, but everyone able to write can, no matter their age, write a card.

She added that a number of veteran organizations and agencies are in the area, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Veterans Affairs Clinic. She said that Catholic Daughters are not working with those organizations at this time but is open to working with them in the future. 

“I think that there is probably a lot of other things we could be doing, but our organization does not have a big budget,” she said.

She added that the organization is always looking for things members can do or help out with.

Swan said people do not have to be a part of Catholic Daughters to be involved, anyone can contact her and get involved if they want. People can donate any unused cards to the organization so they can continue with the program. If people want more information about the veteran Christmas cards or about Catholic Daughters of America they can contact Swan at 265-5703.

The Catholic Daughters also delivered Veterans Day cards to a number of veterans across Montana, including Glendive, Columbia Falls and Great Falls. 

Catholic Daughters meet at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at St. Jude Thaddeus Church.


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