‘Words Mean a Lot:’ NH’s Card for Ukraine Comes to Seacoast
New Hampshire's "Card for Ukraine" is coming to the Mall at Fox Run in Newington on Saturday afternoon
The card, which is free for anyone to sign, made its debut at the Mall of New Hampshire on Sunday, is in Keene this week, and will be in the mall's food court from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 2nd.
The Conant Family of Hampton Falls is responsible for the card. Jim Conant and his family were moved to create a card giving people the opportunity to show their support for the families of the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.
"The tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook affected everyone greatly. Such a sad situation. You want to do something to show support for these families and the town as well. You feel helpless but you want to do something," Conant told Seacoast Current.
Moved to Action 10 Years Later
Watching the horror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Jim Conant decided it was time for another card.
"The shocking, incredible events that are happening over there...you have to say 'how is this happening in 2022?' but it is. Once again, I just can't sit on the sidelines and feel the urge to do something," Conant said. "Thankfully the world has stood up and come to the aide of the Ukrainian people through donations out of their pocket sending clothes, food, medical supplies."
"Words mean a lot as well," Conant said, adding that it gives people who can't afford to make a donation a simple way to show their love and support.
Plenty of Room for Everyone
The 8 foot tall, 12 foot wide card is made of a really hard foam coated with vinyl, according to Conant, who said someone has to hold the card so it doesn't wobble while it's being signed. Panels can easily be added so no one is turned away due to lack of space.
"We ran out of room the first time, and kind of learned our lesson. We're prepared this time to add more. We want to make sure we have room for everyone who wants to sign the card.
Speed Pro in Portsmouth helped make the card a reality, and was very generous with their support, according to Conant.
Where Does the Card Go From New Hampshire?
Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Pappas were the first to sign the giant card, and will be instrumental in bringing the card through its next steps.
"We would love to bring it to Washington to present it to the Ukrainan Ambassador to United States. We totally understand she has plenty of other more important things on her plate right now, so it may not happen soon, but the words on the card will always be meaningful," Conant said.
He would also like to also get it to Ukraine at some point, but will be satisfied if it makes it as far as Hassan and Pappas' respective offices until the situation in Ukraine is resolved.
"The words are there forever to be appreciated. If the card doesn't make it to the people of Ukraine for a while, it's going to be a very long healing process," Conant said. "Food, clothing, medical supplies are much more needed. But once again, words mean a lot too," Conant said.