Red Cross plans Holiday Mail for Heroes

Each year the American Red Cross provides assistance to more than 2 million service members and many of our nation's 24 million veterans.

The cards and personal messages, sent by tens of thousands of Americans, provide a welcome "touch of home" for our troops during the holiday season.

Each year cards are collected between October and early December and distributed at military installations, veteran's hospitals and in other locations.

There are several ways to be part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. In addition to sending cards on your own, you may want to start making plans to host card signing parties or card making parties. 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

The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is Friday, Dec. 7. Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.

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