by: Jeff Dore Updated:ATLANTA,None —
A local radio show that asked listeners to send it letters for U.S. military personnel overseas didn't just reach its goal of one for each of the more than
400,000 men and women.
Listeners of the Bert Show on Q100 crushed the goal with an overwhelming response.
Letters came from around the world.
Channel 2's Jeff Dore was in the studio when the show got a surprise call from the white house.
The Bert Show wanted to do something for service members overseas for
"So we thought, you know what? Let's make them feel connected," show host Bert Weiss said.
They asked listeners to send handwritten
letters, which the show would forward overseas for Thanksgiving.
The goal: A huge 400,000 letter. One for everyone serving abroad.
Letters poured in. Kristin Klingshirn from the Bert Show has a family full of people serving in the military.
"I'm gonna get emotional. Just because it makes me feel appreciated being a military family," Klingshirn.
Handwritten letters from children with treasures like, "Thank you for saving us," filled boxes.
The boxes filled Q100's tables and then floors.
"Just saying thank you. Which to me is what Thanksgiving is all about," Jen Hobby of the Bert Show said.
They needed a battalion of volunteers to box the letters for shipping.
They kept coming, from Spain and Puerto Rico. In braille and Chinese. In pencil, pen, marker and crayon.
"And just to give them a heartfelt thank you, two words that are truly priceless, so I'm just grateful to have had this opportunity," Valerie Jones;
They needed an army of postal workers and they kept coming.
Word reached the White House about the letter campaign and
first lady Michelle Obama called into the Bert Show.
"Everyone should be proud of themselves. It is my great honor to be able to call you guys and to congratulate you on such a big effort. Just keep it going and again congratulations," Mrs. Obama said.
At last check, the Bert Show received more than 650,000 letters. All counted on Veterans' Day, for delivery Thanksgiving Day.