‘Tis the Season – Holiday Mail For Heroes Begins!

Holiday Cards made by "Richland One Cares" volunteers for our Military.

The American Red Cross has kicked off  its “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.  “Holiday Mail for Heroes” is a way for Americans of all ages to send holiday cards to members of the  military from all branches, active duty, guard and reserve, retirees and family members of those listed.

This year, the American Red Cross and partner Pitney Bowes are celebrating the fifth anniversary of Holiday Mail for Heroes, a program that has collected millions of holiday wishes from everyday Americans sharing their thanks with our service men and women.                      

  • Since 2006, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes have received more than 3.5 million holiday cards for members of the Armed Forces.
  • The goal of Holiday Mail for Heroes is to empower everyday Americans to share “a touch of home” with our service men and women while thanking them for their sacrifice.
  • All you need is a pen and card to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the U.S. Armed Forces make to protect our freedom.
  • The process is simple – you send cards to a special PO Box, Pitney Bowes scans all mail to ensure security, and Red Cross volunteers, chapters and base installations deliver the cards to active duty service members and veterans down the street, across the country and around the world.
  • Sending a “touch of home” to American men and women who serve our country is the perfect way to express your appreciation and support during the holiday season.
On Friday, October 14, the Red Cross partnered with Richland County One School District’s “Richland One Cares. ” Four volunteer employees spent an entire day making cards for our military. We would like to thank Tracy Gregg, Saundrina Wannamaker, Marjorie Lewis and Sharon Austin for donating their time and creativity to the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program!

Want to get involved? Here’s how.

Create your card. There are three options:

  1. Design and print your own cards, branding them with your own logo
  2. Purchase cards or
  3. Purchase supplies to make cards.  Children are especially fond of making their own cards, and they are very popular with service members.

 Be sure the messages in the cards are appropriate:

  • Messages in cards should be positive:  “Thank you for your service.”  “Have a safe and happy holiday season.” “Have a happy New Year.”
  • Use the greeting: “Dear Service Member or Veteran,” not “Dear Soldier” or “Dear Sailor.”
  • Sign cards with only first names—do not include full name, address, phone number or e-mail addresses.  “Merry Christmas from the Sanderson Family,Phoenix,Arizona” is fine.
  • Do not put cards in envelopes. No envelopes or letters are accepted, only cards.
  • Please do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, glitter or attachments; these items will be removed during the reviewing process.

Once you have your cards ready to go:

  • Place completed cards in a manila envelope or box (the flat rate boxes from the USPS work well) and mail them to PitneyBowes, postmarked by Dec. 9.  Your organization pays postage to PitneyBowes. PitneyBowes will provide security screening then will send them to Red Cross chapters around the world for message screening and distribution to members of the armed forces.
  • Send an e-mail to Anna Kate Christophillis, christophillisa@usa.redcross.org and let her know approximately how many cards your group sent to PitneyBowes.

The American Red Cross relies on the generosity of everyday Americans to carry out its mission of service to the over 2 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the National Guard and Reserves and many of our nation’s 24 million veterans and their families.                     

  • The Red Cross supports service members and their families before, during and after deployments. It prepares families for the realities of deployment with educational courses and resources and keeps families in touch during emergencies with its global communication services.
  • Today, in the age of cell phones and email, the Red Cross Emergency Communication Network is vital to service members, their families and commanders in the field. Military commanders know in times of family crisis, they can rely on the Red Cross to verify and quickly relay important and confidential information to military personnel.
  • The Red Cross also provides comfort and support to wounded warriors, veterans and their families in military and veterans’ hospitals stateside and abroad.
  • Each day, we assist an average of 476 families through the Red Cross Emergency Communications Network, passing on messages about births, illnesses or death in the family. When a Red Cross message arrives, the service member knows the information is accurate and the commander can make an informed decision about whether or not to grant leave.
  • Supporting Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces work is simple and we encourage you to click, call or text to make a financial donation. Visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS to make a financial donation.

For more information,   www.redcross.org/holidaymail or contact Anna Kate Christophillis, Regional Communications Officer at christophillisa@usa.redcross.org or at  (803) 540-1244.

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