One of the best things about the holiday season is getting cards in the mail from family and friends. I don’t care if they say Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, or something different. It’s the sentiment that matters to me, the thought behind the cards and not the verbiage. And if my family loves checking the mailbox every day, I can only imagine how great it is for our servicemen and women to get special mail at this time of the year.
Enter The Red Cross’ program: Holiday Mail for Heroes. It’s a great way to get your kids involved and help provide a service to others. The cards are delivered to veterans, military families and active-duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world.
There are, of course, guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and to make sure the program is successful. From the Red Cross Website:
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 can not 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.
Mail your cards to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
Cards will only be accepted through December 7th, and any received after that date will be returned. This is a great activity for a scouting group, a class, a playgroup, or even just for a family activity (maybe start a new tradition to write out cards after Thanksgiving dinner).
I’m sure each and every one is appreciated.