MTSU’s ODK students spread holiday cheer to veterans

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Honors Society gathered last week to write holiday messages for the residents of Tennessee State Veteran’s Home during their annual Holiday Veteran’s Project Dinner.

Each year in the midst of finals and holiday chaos, ODK students set aside time to write messages of thanks and warm wishes to elderly veterans while sharing a meal together.

The tradition started shortly after MTSU’s ODK chapter was chartered in 2010. Founding member, Matthew Hibdon, explained that the young honors society had been looking for opportunities to help the community, and felt that making a difference in the lives of veterans was an important cause.

“Not only do they need our help as elderly citizens in the community, but also for the service that they gave to our country. They deserve to be honored and remembered throughout the year, especially at Christmas,” Hibdon said.

When ODK first began writing and delivering holiday cards to the veteran’s home, there were only enough for each veteran to receive one message. Now, students write enough cards so that each veteran gets three to five written notes.

President of ODK, Larissa Wolf, described how much the veterans enjoy getting both visitors and cards around the holidays.

“I always say, ‘thank you for your service,’ and ‘I hope you have a nice holiday filled with laughter and joy.’”

Wolf’s connection with veterans runs deeper than the annual ODK Veteran’s Project.

“My dad’s a vet, and I know how much he appreciates it when people show him appreciation for being a veteran. That’s why I like doing this project, it is close to home,” Wolf said.

ODK will be delivering the holiday cards this Sunday.

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