National Day of Service and Remembrance & Hannah’s Tins

've set these words to post at 8:36 am (Eastern Time) in conjunction with a request from our President to observe a moment of silence.


From a statement by President Obama …

In April, I was proud to
sign the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which recognizes
September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Originated by the
family members of those who lost loved ones on 9/11, the National Day of Service
and Remembrance
is an opportunity to salute the heroes of 9/11, recapture the
spirit of unity and compassion that inspired our Nation following the attacks,
and rededicate ourselves to sustained service to our communities.

I call upon all departments,
agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States to display the flag of the
United States at half-staff on Patriot Day and National Day of Service and
in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the
terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001.

I posted a little note on our two bathroom mirrors and …

… then we watched Dad and Clark lower the flag and had our morning prayers outside.

In honor of Patriot Day I want you to meet Hannah.

4th july 

Hannah emailed me way back in May and I've been waiting for the perfect time to share her efforts to support and sustain our troops.

Here is a portion of Hannah's email: I thought you would be interested in knowing what your little free class inspired. You gave a class online to make a little "All About Me" accordion album in an Altoids tin. While I was doing it, I thought that it would be a nice kind of album to send to the soldiers that I send cards to in Iraq. I redesigned the interior of the album, putting pictures of Americana on alternate panels and a place to attach pictures of their loved ones on the other panels, using one of the panels to write an encouraging note.

The problem was to get enough tins. To acquire tins, I ate as many Altoids as I could – and yes, they are “Curiously Strong!” I begged empty tins from friends and that first Christmas I managed to make 10 albums to send to the troops. I e-mailed Altoids, now Wrigley Co, to ask if they would donate some empty tins for my project. They sent me 6 empty tins and said that it was an unusual request and not to ask again.

Later, as I was leaving the grocery store, right by our car on the ground I saw an empty tin that looked like the Altoid tin, only it said Cacao Reserve Truffles, by Hershey! It was like a gift from God! Tins that held, not mouth destroying mints but chocolate truffles! I immediately started looking in the stores for the tins of truffles and bought some and urged my family to help me eat the chocolate. It was their “patriotic duty!” I said. They happily complied.

I wondered if Hershey would send me some empty tins as Wrigley had done, so I sent a similar e-mail to Hershey explaining my project and asking for any surplus empty tins. I received an e-mail back saying that they would be happy to send me a couple cases of filled tins – both in light and dark chocolate! One hundred and forty four tins, filled with mouth watering chocolate! I couldn’t believe it! When I wrote back to thank them, they replied with a little note saying that it was the least that they could do!

I sent about 115 albums to the soldiers at Christmas time that they received on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, Hershey stopped making the chocolates in tins so I am going to have to find my tins somewhere else so I can continue the project for this Christmas, but the whole idea was all due to your little online class. Thank you, Stacy.


4th of july

Pretty COOL story, huh? No wonder I love BPS and the community that has grown up around it.

  • To take the free class that Hannah speaks of, click HERE.
  • To contact Hershey and tell them they ROCK, click HERE.
  • To purchase hinged tins online, click HERE.

Thank YOU Hannah!
p.s. If you have any ideas for something service-oriented to do with kids after school, let me know!


  1. Do you have a local VA Hospital? Cards and kids visiting vets makes for some very happy patients.

  2. A letter accompanied by a picture to a soldier who is serving today, expressing our graditude and what it means to us for having him serve.

  3. Our girl scout troop made brownies & cards and took them to our local fire station last year. The fire station folks loved it and took the time to talk to the kids about what they do each day.

  4. An easy little something for those of us who travel alot – collect all the toiletries we get in the hotels and bag them [cutely of course] and take them to either a homeless shelter or a Ronald McDonald House or some thing similiar [we don’t have a R Mc house in our city but our local hospital sponsors a house for families and they can ALWAYS use these type items – as can homeless shelters – helps the children see how se can help those in need – and we usually add a little scripture card in there too – J

  5. I just started making cards for Cards for Heros ( which is an organization that that supports our nation’s armed forces by sending blank greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them. Great for using up scrap scrapbooking supplies. My daughter loves it too (blog post here: Simple act that is greatly appreciated by our military!

  6. Thanks for passing this on. I called my husband at work to lower the flag at his office. What I have decided to do is to scrapbook a page about September 11th. I remember most details of where I was and what my feelings were on that day and I want to record them before they fade more away. I then will share it with my children and talk with them about it and let them know where they were on that day since they were alot younger and then we will talk about the great freedoms we have in this country and also talk about all the people who are serving to protect those freedoms for us. I challenge anyone who has not scrapbooked about that day to do so. For me, it will probably be my first page without any pictures on it. I will just title it September 11 and then write about it from my perspective.

  7. If the day is nice, and not too hot, I think the kids and I will give the dog an extra walk around the neighborhood. But this time we will bring extra trash bags and pickup the trash that blows in and gets left around. A little neighborly clean-up.

  8. I love this idea Laura!

  9. I think this is what we’ll do too, sans the dog (I wish!)

  10. I filled out the form to tell Hershey they ROCK! I’m loving Laura’s idea to use today to FINALLY do the 9/11 page that has been in the back of my mind since it first happened.

  11. Russell Stover sells candy in tins — they own Whitmans Samplers. You should check it out.

  12. My oldest son turned 15 on Sept. 11, 2001 and the page I scraped was of him in his ROTC uniform and little copies of the front pages of the front page of our local paper from the week – with the lyrics from the song ‘where the stars and stripes and the eagle flies’ Still one of my favorite pages…

  13. Hannah is fabulous! Was that from the MoMints album? I have a fairly cheap source for the blank tins if she wants to order in bulk…

  14. Thanks for this post. I’m going to start buying Hershey chocolate again, because of their generosity. And, tell them about it too!

  15. Hannah you Rock! I have extra tins if you tell me where to mail them they are yours. I have been stacking them in my office as I go through them. I probably have 5 or so. When I have team meetings I put them in the middle of the table for everyone to enjoy.
    The little free class is terrific. I took it way back when…seems so long ago. I am enjoying many of the BPS classes – Thanks Stacy and keep up the good work with more classes.
    Hannah, I bet you could have a group of people help you assemble these at a local scrapbook store and have a bin for donated tins there too.
    You are an angel on Earth. All the best to you and yours!

  16. This is an awesome story! I went to the website to tell Hersheys they ROCK!!!

  17. Angela Williams says:

    I just have to say the this story made me cry. My husband and I are both born and raised in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My husband is in the Air Force and we are currently stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base (in your neck of the woods Stacy). While my husband was in Iraq this past year he received a HUGE box from Hershey Foods containing all kinds of chocolate and other goodies their company produces and a giant poster signed with well wishes from various employees at the factory. And guess what, apparently they do this kind of thing all the time. You can’t imagine what a great little moral boost this was. I am not trying to promote Hershey in any way, but I love hearing about companies that go out of their way for those serving overseas and I thought others might like to know about this too!

  18. Fabulous post- lovely story from hannah!

  19. Well said! And great ideas on involving your local scrapbook store — thanks for being so generous!

  20. Wow. What an inspirational story. Thanks to Hannah for following through on her vision!

  21. Stacy, your posts always uplift and encourage me. Thank you for sharing Hannah’s gifts to our soldiers and for everyone’s suggestions – via comments – of what we can each do as individuals and families.
    I sent a note to Hershey. Thanks too, for including the helpful links.

  22. Hannah Means says:

    I would love extra tins! I did have help putting the tins together. Some of my neighbors came over and we emptied a few more tins while we worked. I didn’t think of the scrapbook store though. Good idea! How do I contact you?

  23. Hannah, email me at and we can work out mailing arrangements.I live in CA. I am taking a class today with Debbie Schuh at my local store in Berkeley, CA. I will also mention saving tins there to see if the store owner will set aside a box and we can get a batch out to you at the end of next month as well. I will also ask at my office for folks to drop them off to me.

  24. We have an elderly widow who lives across the street. We take her paper to her door. It’s something that even my 2 yr old can help do. I told Hershey we’d have a “Hershey” Halloween this year. We need to support them with our money too!

  25. Stacy
    LOVE this post!! Thank you! Wrote a note to Hershey’s…couldn’t help myself! WOW!! Hannah also ROCKS!! Woo Hoo!! :)

  26. Hannah, you are an INSPIRATION! What a wonderful idea & Hersheys does rock! :)

  27. I have also done Cards for Heroes a few times and have been aware of Hannah’s efforts through another online group site. She is a very special person with a giving heart and an inspiration to everyone in what it means to ‘serve’. Thank you Stacy for sharing the story of this wonderful woman. Hannah AND Hershey’s ROCK!

  28. Ann Hayes-Bell says:

    I’d be willing to buy a few tins from this online company and donate to Hannah. If the company can get her mailing address, that would be the best. Not sure how. Thanks for the story and idea!

  29. Vickie Jones says:

    I just sent Altoids this link, I love their mints but am dissapointed in their resposne.

  30. Thanks for sharing Hannah’s story, Stacy. I know her from a SB message board and she is truly the thoughtful, giving person portrayed. Way to go, Hannah!
    A big high-5 to Hershey’s, too. I am on the bandwagon to spend my Halloween candy dollars there this year. :)

  31. Thanks for making us aware of Hershey’s gift. I sent an email thanking them not only on behalf of my brother (currently serving in the Army), but also on behalf of my dad’s uncle, who remembered getting Hershey’s after his release as a prisoner of war after the Battle of the Bulge. Companies like this deserve the recognition (and our brand loyalty as customers!)
    Kelly in Ohio

  32. Hi Stacy and Hannah!
    I loved the store and have about 30 tins that my husband collects at work…he eats those darn mints all the time.
    I would love to donate them to your very worthy cause. You can e-mail me at for your address and I’ll have them out to you by Friday.
    Thanks for spreading a little cheer to our troops!

  33. Wow this is such a great thing to do. High 5 to Hannah!

  34. WOW! Must have been a reason for me to browse Stacy’s site today! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these mints and I HATE, HATE, HATE to throw away my empty tins! Can I get Hannah’s address???? email me at
    Thanks – Kendra

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