DANVILLE — When addressing your Christmas cards this year, don’t forget to set one or more aside for the men and women serving overseas.
A local teenager is on a mission to collect as many cards as she can and mail them to those who won’t be home for the holidays.
Trinity Dawson, 15, has set up brightly decorated boxes at several businesses to collect the cards, as well as any drawings, letters, pages colored by children and notes — anything to lift a soldier’s spirits.
The letters and cards will be collected Dec. 7.
“I wanted to give back this Christmas,” she said. “I wanted to send cards overseas because they can’t be home.”
Trinity, the daughter of Doug and Melissa Dawson, is a sophomore at Bismarck-Henning High School, where she is an honor student and varsity cheerleader.
She came up with the idea after placing as second runner-up in the junior miss division of Nakota’s Natural Beauty Pageant earlier this year. The pageant honors Nakota Lynn Jones, who died of a brain aneurism in 2008 at age 2½.
The pageant queen is responsible for doing community projects in honor of the child; the runners-up are not required to do projects. However, Trinity was so touched by Nakota’s story and short life that she wanted to do something to help others.
Pam Messick of Covington, Ind., organized the pageant to keep the memory of her granddaughter alive by raising money to help other children. She and her friends also sponsor softball tournaments, and Trinity has been involved in the tournaments since the first one five years ago.
“Her heart is so about Nakota. I think that speaks volumes,” Messick said.
“She’s pretty smart and very giving.”
The boxes set up at businesses will be decorated in a Christmas theme and will have a picture of Nakota on them.