by Emily Vontom, Published October 02, 2013
Destiny Eadie, a freshman at Eastern Michigan University, was only ten years old when she realized she could make a difference. And now, because of the positive impact she has made in the lives of others, Eadie has been awarded the CharterOne TruFit Good Citizen Scholarship from CharterOne Bank.
The TruFit Good Citizen Scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate a core CharterOne vale – improving their communities. Since its launch in 2011, more than $150,000 has been awarded to high school seniors and college students across the country.
Eadie’s $1000 award from CharterOne is in recognition of Cards from Destiny, a program she started in 2005 after learning that Cody Green, a family friend in the military, wouldn’t be coming home for the holidays.
“I was so upset that he wouldn’t be coming home for Christmas,” Eadie, 17, said. “I asked if I could send him a Christmas card and was told to go to Any Soldier, which is kind of like a Facebook for soldiers.”
The Any Soldier website allows for any member of the military to go online to make requests for items they want or need while they are overseas and away from home. While soldiers request personal care items, what they want most of all are personal letters and cards from home.
At the time Eadie visited the site for the first time, she had $20 from babysitting and decided to spend the money on buying Christmas cards for soldiers. But she didn’t stop there.
Eadie went door to door for about three weeks requesting donations of unused Christmas cards and gathered nearly 600 cards to send to servicemen and women overseas. The cards were sent to Green in Iraq to distribute among the soldiers on his base.
“Cody emailed me and thank me for what I had done,” said Eadie. “He said that those cards touched the men and women on the base and it helped to make their Christmas away from home a little easier to deal with.”
The following year, in 2006, Eadie sent more than 3,600 cards to troops overseas, in addition to 200 goodie bags to open Christmas morning that were filled with candy, Chapstick and hot chocolate. In 2007, more than 7,400 cards were sent and she nearly doubled that number in 2008 when she sent more than 14,000 cards overseas.
Eadie’s efforts didn’t go unrecognized. In December 2007, the Washtenaw County Marine Corps League Detachment #414 made Eadie an Honorary Marine.
“I was so touched and honored to be called a marine,” Eadie, a native of Belleville, Mich., said. “Here I am, trying to support the troops and the Veterans are supporting me in my efforts.”
Eadie now works with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #310 in Ann Arbor, Mich. by helping to build care packages for the troops. At Christmas time, her cards get put into the care packages and sent overseas.
Since 2005, Eadie has been able to send nearly 60,000 cards overseas to servicemen and women. She will continue her Cards from Destiny project while attending school at Eastern as an accounting major.
“I have met some brave men who served in World War II, The Korean War, Vietnam and Desert Storm,” Eadie said. “I feel like I have a whole new big family.”