Army veteran James Wiitamaki knows he's losing his battle with cancer. He knows he will spend his remaining days at a VA Medical Center struggling with the disease. So without telling any of his family or friends, Wiitamaki decided to put out a call for help from his community. He placed an ad in his local newspaper asking for mail. The world has responded with an outpouring of love and support — and lots and lots of letters.
The ad that Wiitamaki placed, pictured below, asked anyone who had the time or inclination to send him a letter.
When his great-niece, Brenna Glodowski, spotted it in the paper, she posted it to her Facebook page to see if she could prompt even more folks to send a letters. She wrote, "If anyone has a few minutes to send a card, I think he would be more than ecstatic to receive it." She also noted that the ZIPcode for reaching her great-uncle is 56303, not 56308.
The post was shared tens of thousands of times with users all over the world promising to send letters to Wiitamaki. At one point, Glodowski asked people to start sending letters to the VA Center without a direct recipient so that Wiitamaki could share the love with his fellow patients.
Interestingly, in just the last few hours, Glodowski's post has been removed from Facebook, presumably because her great-uncle received more mail than he could have ever imagined.
If you missed out on the chance to send Wiitamaki a letter, I'm sure he would still love it if you sent a card that could be distributed to any one of the patients at the hospital. And it doesn't even have to be his hospital. Why not drop a few extra valentines or postcards into the mail to your local hospital or nursing home.? More than likely, the staff there will know exactly who needs some extra cheer sent their way that day.