The People, Places, Events, History, Businesses, and Music of Upstate SC

One Upstate school district sends more than 37,000 holiday cards to Veterans

SPARTANBURG Co., SC (WSPA) — This Christmas, veterans in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia will have surprise holiday cards land on their door steps thanks to students in Spartanburg County School District 1.

Landrum High School students Abbie and Ashby Cartee began the tradition six years ago. Their goal in the first year was to give cards to 100 area veterans. The tradition has since grown to be a district-wide effort with more than 37,000 cards being sent throughout the southeast and to service members stationed in Afghanistan.

The Cartees have rallied their classmates, teachers and community to share in the Christmas joy.

They say this project was inspired by a children’s movie, “Dolphin Tale,” which they watched when they were in 4th and 6th grades. They say in the movie a wounded veteran goes to visit other Veterans in the hospital.

Abbie and Ashby have also been inspired by their grandfather, Ronnie Ray, commander of the Military Order of Purple Hearts Daniel Morgan Chapter in Spartanburg. Ronnie Ray served in the military for two years with tours in Germany and Vietnam.

The Cartees collect holiday cards throughout the year and during December their grandfather hand delivers the cards to hospitals and nursing homes.

Abbie and Ashby say they enjoy seeing how their project has brought happiness to Veterans.


Heather is the owner of Charlie Mason Entertainment in Upstate South Carolina. Entities include Upstate Exposures Magazine, Charlie Mason Radio, and the Northwest Corner Podcast.

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