Sometimes it’s the littlest things in life that often mean the most. For the third straight year, members of the Sedona Police Support Services will be gath- ering greeting cards to be distributed to veterans at the Prescott and Phoenix Veteran’s Administration hospitals on Dec. 22.
The SPD campaign is again led by Heidi Videto, who said she and her husband had always wanted to do more for veterans but with limited free time it was often difficult. About five years ago, she thought about bringing cards to the hospital after recalling going to the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Boston years ago with a man who was a father figure to her.
“He was like a rock star there,” she said. “Everyone knew his name. We would go in and say hello to the staff and talk to people in the hallways.”
Videto started the card program while working for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. They had a good response, so it was continued a second year. When she started working at the Sedona Police Department, she said she knew it would be well-received here. They set a goal as a department for 100 cards that first year and received 216. Last year, they set a goal of 250 and received 760.
“It was amazing,” she said of last year’s response. “We had so many cards we made bundles of five to six cards per person and wrapped them with ribbon or stickers. In fact there were so many I drove to Phoenix to drop off the extra cards.
That is why we are adding Phoenix VA this year.” She asked people to consider filling out a few extra cards and bringing them into the Police Department front lobby. There will be a mailbox at the front desk for the cards.
“I applaud Heidi’s efforts in doing this and am very proud of her,” Chief David McGill said. “But that’s your police department. It’s made up of different people who all have big hearts and take it upon themselves to help others.”
The men and women who are staying at the hospitals over the holidays are mostly retired. Videto said last year they were able to go and give cards to people who were also there for doctor’s appointments.
“We were able to make an appointment with a wonderful volunteer who took us around the hospital,” she said. “We passed them out to veterans walking in for appointments and we went to the rooms of those staying there whether it was for a short time or extended stays. The ones going to Phoenix VA will be passed out by their volunteers.”
Videto said it means a great deal to her and the others to be able to bring a smile to a person’s face during the holidays.
“I think in general everyone loves to make a difference, no matter how small, in people’s lives,” she said. “Here at the police department and within the city offices it is a way of life. It’s what we do. It always feels great to do something good, especially at this time of year and for me, especially for our veterans. It’s very near and dear to my heart.”