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Monday, October 15, 2012

Holiday Mail for Heroes a Huge Morale Booster


Mary Jacoby Hastings
Prepare to spread holiday cheer to our Armed Forces through the Holiday Mail for Heroes program now in progress through December 7, 2012. This annual tradition gives everyone an opportunity to express appreciation to those who have chosen to serve their country at home and abroad.

Each year the American Red Cross collects cards between October and early December to distribute at military installations, veterans hospitals, and other locations. The cards and personal messages, sent by tens of thousands of Americans, are a huge morale booster.

Imagine the smiles these cards bring to the faces of troops so far from home around the holidays and to those recovering in military hospitals, particularly when family cannot be near.

There are several ways you can prepare a card to send to our troops through the American Red Cross in time for the holidays:
1.     sign a  card and take it to an organized signing event
2.     create an original card or have a child create a card to take to a card signing event
3.     volunteer at an upcoming card-making/signing event
4.     organize a card-signing event with a local organization, such as your place of employment, church or school
5.     incorporate the project with another upcoming event, such as a holiday fair
6.     volunteer to assist in preparing cards for distribution

Throughout the year, you can also make a difference with a monetary gift to help military families through the Red Cross. Your donation can help change a military family’s life. Simply visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

For a heartwarming look at how much this gestures means to our Armed Forces, view actual video at: http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes or visit the  Holiday Mail for Heroes YouTube playlist.  

Card Guidelines:
Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country. Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:
·        Ensure that all cards are signed.
·        Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
·        Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
·        Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
·        Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
·        Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
·        If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

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