Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Mail for Heroes

Last year, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to participate in her and her boyfriend's effort to collect Christmas cards for soldiers. Given my love of Christmas, I was thrilled to help them, and sent in countless cards.

This year, I want to do something similar. I'm not sure which program my friends used last year, but a Google search turned up the Red Cross's program Holiday Mail for Heroes among several results warning people of scams for this kind of thing. Trusting the legitimacy of the Red Cross, I'm going with their program this year.

I'm sharing this across my social media forums in the hopes that others will join me and make a similar gesture. Regardless of political affiliation or opinions about our current government or military engagements, the individual soldiers are still people, spending holidays away from the warmth and safety of their homes and families.

If you would like to participate, you can send your cards to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

All cards must be postmarked by Friday, December 9th. Cards postmarked after this day will be returned to sender. Please keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Ensure that all cards are signed.

  • Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.

  • Only cards are being accepted. Do not send letters.

  • 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.

  • We encourage participants to mail as many cards as they are comfortable sending. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes or use a flat rate box from the post office. Each card does not need its own envelope, as cards will be removed from all envelopes before distribution.

  • Please refrain from sending holiday cards with glitter. Many of these cards will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities and the glitter could interfere with a patient's recovery
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