By Jeff Todd

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – With help from some friends, a Wheat Ridge woman has amassed 18,000 holiday cards intended for active-duty military overseas. The only problem is she needs help shipping the 600 pounds of holiday cheer.

Marlys Halbeisen has collected 18,000 Christmas cards for overseas troops.

Marlys Halbeisen has collected 18,000 Christmas cards for overseas troops. (credit: Tamera Halbeisen)

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“My favorite pastime in the evening is sit and watch a hallmark movie and write cards to heroes,” said Marlys Halbeisen.

The idea started about a year ago when Halbeisen attended an Air Force band concert. That night she thought about the thousands of troops overseas. She also thought about her late-husband and brother who served in the military.

Halbeisen needs help to pay for the postage to send 600 pounds worth of holiday cards to active-duty military overseas.

Halbeisen needs help to pay for the postage to send 600 pounds worth of holiday cards to active-duty military overseas. (credit: CBS4)

“They talked about how come the holidays they were always lonesome and felt so alone. I know there are a lot of people who are in the military now who have the same problem. I just thought it would be nice if they knew there was someone out there who cares. and knows what they’re doing for our country,” she said.

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Halbeisen enlisted help from several community service organizations she’s a member of including the Maple Grove Grange. Each card has a personal, special message inside.

Halbeisen enlisted help from friends in several community service organizations to help write holiday notes in each of the 18,000 cards.

Halbeisen enlisted help from friends in several community service organizations to help write holiday notes in each of the 18,000 cards. (credit: Tamera Halbeisen)

“We bought cards the day after Christmas at all the 50% off sales. And we even drove all the way to Loveland in late January when they had their cards on sale for 90 percent off and I came home with a whole car full of boxes of cards,” Halbeisen said.

Last month, a Colorado Springs non-profit backed out of a deal to get the cards overseas. Halbeisen has been scrambling and found the USASOA to help.

“He said, ‘We want the cards we will get them out. but we don’t have the funding.’”

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A Facebook fundraiser has been set up to cover the postage and get the 18,000 cards to Washington D.C. and then they’ll be delivered to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jeff Todd