The kindness of strangers

Photo submitted — Some of the 48 Christmas cards Carolee Chapman received from strangers this holiday season.

CLINTON — In spite of the coronavirus cloud hanging over the holidays this year, “There are a lot of good people in the world,” said local resident Carolee Chapman.  And she has the proof, having received 48 Christmas cards from people she has never met.

Carolee’s husband Richard, a retired union carpenter, passed away in August.  Her daughter Bonny Van Dalsen, unable to travel from her Florida home to Clinton for the holidays, wanted to do something special for her mom.

“This will be my mom’s first Christmas without him, so I asked over 100 of my friends from all over to send my mom Christmas cards,” Van Dalsen said.

Bonny has two children in the military, one in the U.S. Air Force, who recently returned from Qatar, in the middle east, and one serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.  She belongs to a support group of military moms, so she was able to enlist their help to send some Christmas cards to her mom.

Carolee said she received cards from nearly every state.  The card traveling the farthest came to her from Brazil, and she also received one from someone in Hawaii.  These were in addition to the cards she normally receives from friends and family members during the holidays.

She appreciated the kind gesture, especially during the holiday season.

“I’ve never met any of these people, but they went out of their way to send me cards and tell me they were sorry for the loss of my husband.”

Carolee has five other children in addition to  Bonny,  and one will be in Clinton from Plainfield, Ill. to be with her on Christmas.