Flight angel delivers hope

What began as a flight attendant’s commitment to write to one soldier on deployment has grown into an operation involving two Mercer Island schools and people across America.

Donations from West Mercer students and families fill the school’s main hallway for ‘Mail Call For Our Heroes.’

Donations from West Mercer students and families fill the school’s main hallway for ‘Mail Call For Our Heroes.’

What began as a flight attendant’s commitment to write to one soldier on deployment has grown into an operation involving two Mercer Island schools and people across America.

Robin Schmidt, known as the “Sky Angel,” was working on a Civil Reserve Air Fleet charter flight, full of soldiers, only a few months after 9/11. She passed a plaque around the plane for soldiers to sign their names so that she could pray for them on their deployment. One soldier joked, would Schmidt ‘adopt’ him while he was overseas? She then began writing and sending care packages, and has ‘adopted’ soldiers serving overseas, in Iraq and Afghanistan, each year since then.

And then, there were the journals. Schmidt got permission from Delta Airlines to ask her flight passengers to write personal messages in a journal, to be sent along with a care package to soldiers. Two journals would be passed around the plane during each flight.

A former Island resident, Schmidt moved back to Seattle last year from Kentucky. She is currently overseeing the fifth annual “Mail Call For Our Heroes” and has the participation of three local schools.

“I truly don’t want any of our service members to feel alone on the battlefield or when they return home,” she said.

Islander Middle School and Eastgate Elementary students wrote cards for the troops, and West Mercer held a special parade in honor of Veterans Day on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 8.

“Our soldiers marched for us, so today we are marching for them,” West Mercer Principal Rich Mellish said to the crowd of students, teachers and parents.

In the school hallway there were stacks of cards, snacks, books, dog treats, toiletries, socks, and frisbees personally signed by the kids. The packages will be sent to a National Guard unit in Afghanistan, a Marine unit at Camp Leatherneck, Combat Surgical Hospital at Bagram Airfield and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and AT&T calling cards will be sent to the 101st Airborne “Dustoff” unit.

“I prayed for an abundance and I got absolute abundance,” Schmidt said. “The beauty of it is the abundance didn’t come in money, but the abundance came in the form of supplies.”

The shipment deadline, in order for troops to receive the packages before Christmas, is Nov. 13.

“I’m blessed that the school has gotten so involved — this is so amazing,” Schmidt said, noting the magnitude of West Mercer’s donations.

Early this week, Schmidt’s tally of letters, cards and notes received was 2,146. With an estimated 1,000 cards still to come from Islander Middle School, Schmidt was more than halfway toward meeting her goal of 4,000.

Schmidt has also mailed treats and Christmas decorations, and two Christmas trees. Recently, she spent a day with eight girlfriends making 75 dozen cookies and 15 pounds of fudge to send overseas.

Other donations were received from friends — and strangers — all over the country who saw Schmidt’s Facebook posts or visited her website.

“People from all over are sending me cards,” she said. “The troops are going to love it all.”

For more information, go to Schmidt’s website at www.alwayssupportourheroes.com.

 


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

This October 2021 photo provided by Pfizer shows kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.
King County woman among first in state to test positive for Omicron

Omicron appears to be more transmissible than the Delta variant.

File photo
Black drivers disproportionately pulled over by WSP in King, Pierce counties

A study by WSU researchers examined over 3 million traffic stops performed by WSP officers.

t
Mercer Island community gathers for Hanukkah celebration

Menorahs are placed at Mercerdale Park.

t
Trees aplenty at YFS lot

Don Kovarik trims a tree at the Mercer Island Youth and Family… Continue reading

t
Island Freemasons rename lodge in honor of Dean LeClare Quigley

Ceremony for dedicated member took place on Dec. 2.

t
School district seeks ballot measure committees

The Mercer Island School District seeks interested parties to prepare statements in… Continue reading

t
Recology offers holiday cardboard recycling tips

As residents receive or purchase gifts this holiday season, the city’s recycling… Continue reading

Screenshot
King County weather: Dec. 3-5

Here is your King County area weather forecast for Dec. 3-5, 2021.… Continue reading

Keith Wagoner
Senator becomes first GOP candidate for secretary of state

Sen. Keith Wagoner will challenge Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the statewide post in November

Most Read