OUR STORY - MEET OUR CEO
The idea of Savannah’s Soldiers was born in the heart of a fifth grade girl.
“In fifth grade, I had a best friend named Wilson. She and I were completely inseparable. At the time, I knew that her dad was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Halfway through our fifth grade year, he deployed to Afghanistan. Wilson shared this with me during recess on our school playground. It was a really tough thing for my friend and her family to deal with. Being so close to her family, I knew that I had to do something to help out.
During this same time, I was discovering my deep love for music and songwriting. As a ten year old, the best gift I could think to give my best friend was a song. It was a natural fit to share with her something so close to my heart, just as her dad was so close to hers. Because of this, I created a song about family, deployment, military, and friendship. I called it “Wilson.”
When I showed her, Wilson loved the song! I felt like I had really made a difference and brought us closer together. After a few weeks, I decided that I could do more. After doing some research, I found out that many families support their deployed loved ones by sending letters! This seemed impactful, simple, and made sense…so I began my own project. I decided to adopt the Soldiers (all 700 of them) that were deployed with Wilson’s dad and send them all letters consistently throughout their year-long deployment.
This is where Savannah’s Soldiers began. With the help of schools, professional sporting teams, media attention, and a simple pen and paper, this idea spread like wildfire. Almost seven years later, we have sent over 350,000 letters of encouragement to thousands of our brave Military Members in every branch and every corner of the world!
Savannah’s Soldiers started as and continues to be a letter writing campaign. We collect letters from kids and adults all across America and send them to hundreds of units of brave men and woman until they all come home. We have grown to also include curriculum based education programing
that positively impacts America's youth through Arts and Education. We work closely with schools and organizations like the Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Florida Panthers, Boston RedSox, Professional Bull Riders, The World Golf Championships, and many more. We are proud to say that we are in hundreds of schools in 40 states.
Today, I am the eighteen year old CEO of this national 501c3 organization. I travel the country telling my motivational story and encouraging youth to believe in themselves and to follow their dreams. I want them to know that they are capable of anything if they work hard, just as I have. I also love sharing with them my love for music and my progress in the music industry as a CAA artist in Nashville. I use this to encourage them to follow their own dreams. I am also so excited to announce that I have a book coming out Nov 19, 2019 with Random House Publishing called “Sincerely, You: Letter Writing to Change the World.” I’m so thankful to share my story in this way and I’m excited to inspire and impact more of our youth during this journey.
My goal is to send one million letters to deployed military members. To accomplish this, I need your help. Every letter makes a difference. Every letter has the power to put a smile one the face of someone far away.
There are so many ways to get involved with Savannah’s Soldiers! If you attend a school or are part of an organization that would be interested in joining our campaign, please contact us by using the contact link on our website. You can also email us typed letters or mail us handwritten letters. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have and would love to empower your students and employees with the ability to make a difference.
Freedom is something that we do not think about as often as we should, but I have come to know that there are many men and women who leave their families behind to allow us the freedoms that we enjoy here every day. It’s so important for us to support and recognize them. I promise you that taking a moment to say thank you makes a huge difference. Your letter could change a life, and it could help me change the world.
Together, we are changing the lives of our deployed military… one letter at a time.”
-Savannah Maddison, Eighteen Year-Old Founder and CEO of Savannah’s Soldiers 501c3