Holiday Mail For Heroes Program Enters Fifth Year

It’s been said that home is where the heart is. Nothing brings a touch of home to someone far away from family and friends like a card. For the fifth year in a row, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are giving everyone an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of the U.S. military, veterans and their families through the 2011 Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

Holiday Mail for HeroesFrom now until December 9, the public is invited to send holiday cards that contain messages of cheer and appreciation. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen the cards for hazardous materials, sort and package the cards, and deliver them to military bases and hospitals, veteran’s hospitals and other locations during the holidays.

Sam Kille served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1990 to 2003. He is now the Regional Director of Communications for the Red Cross in Greater New York. Kille knows what it means to get mail when you are serving your country far from home.

“It’s hard to describe what it means to get a letter from home,” he said. “And it didn’t matter who the letter was from. Somehow, mail was a validation that what I was doing was important and recognized.” You can read more on his blog, “Changing Lives, The Storybook.”

The Holiday Mail For Heroes post office box is open and ready to receive cards. Please send all mail to:
Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Please observe the following guidelines to ensure your card goes through the review process quickly:

* Only cards are being accepted. Do not send letters.
* All cards should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9, 2011. Please be sure to affix adequate postage.
* 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.
* Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
* Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
* Please do not send cards with glitter.
* Participants should limit the number of cards they submit to 25 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

Additional ways to become involved with the campaign include connecting with fellow card senders through Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcross and Twitter at www.twitter.com/redcross using the hashtag #holidaymail.

For more information and card requirements, please visit www.redcross.org/holidaymail.

~Hanna Malak
hmalak.nyc@gmail.com

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