Monday, November 25, 2013

Kids, adults alike sign over 100 holiday cards for service members at Family Volunteer Day

At a table strewn with crayons, markers, cards and envelopes, children with painted faces intently composed messages for members of the armed forces deployed over the holidays. Though this year’s Family Volunteer Day featured balloon sculptures, face painting and all the hallmarks of a fun family event, kids at the Holiday Mail for Heroes table took their jobs very seriously.

“The parents have been really good about telling kids where they’re sending the cards, and who’s getting them,” said Maggie Gonzales, a volunteer on hand to help with the event. Of course, colorful art supplies (generously loaned by The Children’s Museum, who hosted the event) were a big draw, too. “Colored markers help a lot,” said Peter Nguyen, another Red Cross volunteer coaching kids through the card-signing process.
Family Volunteer Day, an annual event coordinated by Metro Volunteers, encourages families to volunteer as a group for various local organizations and causes. The event took place at the Children’s Museum on Saturday, Nov. 23.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes program, a time-honored Red Cross tradition, proved to be a good fit for this year’s event, with eight boxes of cards signed by both children and adults who attended.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes program sends cards to service members overseas and at VA hospital facilities every year. Anyone who missed Family Volunteer Day is welcome to send cards for service members to: Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456. For mailing guidelines and more information, visit

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