Tappan Hill Cards for Troops

Students Serve the Community on 9/11 Anniversary

Students Make Cards on 9/11 National Day of Remembrance

In honor of the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, Tappan Hill School students thanked members of the U.S. military with beautiful hand-made cards.

“You are our heroes. You keep us safe. We appreciate you,” Callum, who is in   teacher Linda Christiansen’s class, wrote inside one of his cards. On the outside, he glued a paper cutout of a hand stamped in blues, purples and greens with Dot Markers.

Tappan Hill collaborated on the project with Volunteer New York’s RISE program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The cards are for Mahopac-based United for the Troops, which includes them with care packages for troops serving overseas. Patty and Jim Rathschmidt founded the group after their son went to serve in Iraq in 2007. Since then, they have delivered 25,000 packages of essential items, T-shirts, snacks, cards, letters and more to members of the military.

Students in Erroll Rivera’s and Adriane Lomupo’s classes also made cards for service members. Ms. Lomupo showed children in her classroom a United for the Troops video about the care packages and the positive responses and letters they receive from soldiers.

“Students at Tappan Hill came together to work for a cause greater than themselves, and as part of giving back to the community, they shared their gratitude to the men and women who keep us safe,” Principal Phyllis Rizzi said. “This really was a great opportunity to give back.”

Volunteer New York! inspires, mobilizes and equips thousands of individuals and groups to give back to their communities each year as volunteers. Patti Colombo, manager of the RISE Readiness for Integrated Services Engagement, said RISE volunteers like the Tappan Hill School students are making a difference in their community. A hundred RISE volunteers made 150 cards for the United for the Troops care packages.

“At Volunteer New York! we believe that everyone can serve,” Ms. Colombo said. “I know it is a challenge during this COVID-19 health crisis for individuals to be out in the community giving service, so I make an extra effort to help groups like the Tappan Hill students find ways to give service to the community in their classroom and the adults I work with at their program sites.”