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Family Fun

DoodleBug, Legion invite all to 'Write a Joe or Jane'

Drop-off sites for letters, drawings in five counties

With kids out of school, nursing home residents not getting visitors, parents and others working from home, it’s a good time to reach out to the U.S. military – both retired veterans and men and women stationed around the world.

The Illinois 11th District American Legion, which includes DuPage, Kane, McHenry and Will counties, has teamed up with DoodleBug Workshop, which serves people with disabilities, to encourage people of all ages to “Write a Joe or Jane.” A drop-off point also is offered in Kendall County, a news release stated.

People can write cards, letters, notes of encouragement or create drawings, which will be forwarded to members of the military with the help of the Chicagoland Blue Star Mothers. One should indicate if it is for an active soldier or a veteran.

The mail for the military can be dropped off by May 16. Details plus updates on drop-off locations are posted at

“With everyone stressed right now about the coronavirus, it helps to focus on others – including the thousands of men and women who are defending this country, plus veterans in our community,” Kevin Leonard of Warrenville, commander of the 11th District American Legion, stated in the release. “As a veteran of multiple Middle East tours, I can tell you that being away from home is hard enough. Add in the uncertainty of life on the home front, and you’ll find a whole lot of needless stress. I think this letter campaign is just what the doctor ordered for our people overseas."

Key partners in the charity's work are veterans from the 11th District American Legion.

“Members of the Legion have been our biggest supporters since we established the workshop three years ago to train people with disabilities," Sarah Starke, executive director of DoodleBug Workshop, stated. "We wanted to create an opportunity that gives a call to action to support our troops during these troubling times. … Writing a letter to a soldier or a veteran or creating a drawing gives everyone – children and adults – a chance to be pro-active and lift up our troops.”

Drop-off locations

• DoodleBug Workshop, 314 S. Main St., Wheaton

• Warrenville VFW and American Legion Hall, 3S371 Mignin Drive

• Family Foods, Route 59 and Batavia Road, Warrenville

• Geneva American Legion Post 75, 22 S. Second St.

• Second Bridge, 43 E. Crystal Lake Ave., suite H, Crystal Lake

• Joliet American Legion Post 1080, 2625 Ingalls Ave.

• Imagination Print & Design, 68 Main St., suite 1, Oswego

DoodleBug Workshop teaches people with disabilities from across the suburban Chicago area how to use tools and create products of wood, metal and other materials. During the shutdown period, it is creating home kits for current participants so they can work on individual component pieces that go into the products they make.

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