Holidays for Heroes

Providing Emotional Support and Morale for U.S. Military

Red Cross workers provide emotional support for members of the military and their families by participating in a variety of events and programs organized both by the Red Cross and by partner agencies.

Our volunteers welcome home troops at Yellow Ribbon events, provide logistical support at on-base events, connect veterans with community resources at Veterans Stand Down events, and more. Red Cross volunteers also comfort veterans, members of the military, and their families at veterans hospitals.

The best way to join our efforts is to become a Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Volunteer.

Members of the public can also express their support and thanks for active military by participating in the Red Cross Holidays for Heroes program. Brighten any holiday by providing bundles of blank, unused holiday cards that deployed military members can use to communicate with their loved ones during the holidays. Or your group or organization can submit one banner or poster-sized card signed with messages of encouragement to be shared with local military. This is a year-round effort, so cards from all major holidays are appreciated.

*Important Changes to Holidays for Heroes Program: Due to a reduction in U.S. military forces overseas and increased costs of conducting the program, the Red Cross Holidays for Heroes program has undergone changes to make the program more relevant and meaningful to local communities. The American Red Cross is no longer soliciting mass quantities of cards from the public across the entire nation. In Colorado and Wyoming, we have determined that we will have enough cards to distribute to local military bases and stations and we will not need to make an open solicitation to the public or to large groups.

If you would like to participate in the Holidays for Heroes program, we ask you to consider these options:

- Holiday card bundle: Our service members – either deployed or in medical facilities – typically do not have ready access to a local greeting card shop, and will greatly appreciate being able to send a card home to their loved ones during the holidays. Please send to your local Red Cross chapter a bundle with:

  • 3 blank holiday cards (same holiday per bundle and no glitter)
  • 3 blank envelopes with postage stamps,
  • 1 short message (on an insert – do not included contact information, only first name)
  • - Organizational / corporate banner or poster-sized card: Organizational banners are especially useful as they can be shared across many military and VA locations throughout the holidays. This option enables your messages to be seen by thousands of service members at home and overseas (rather than “one card, one recipient”). Please send to your local Red Cross chapter:

  • One banner or poster-sized card, signed in permanent marker by members of the organization, with brief messages of encouragement (do not included contact information, only first name).
  • These changes to the program allow local Red Cross offices to better concentrate on reaching out to the members of the military, veterans and families in their communities – neighbors helping neighbors.

    NOTE: The National HMFH office (5900 Georgia Ave in Washington DC) closed in 2011. Any items addressed to “Any Soldier” or “A Recovering American Soldier” – and sent to that address – will be returned as undeliverable because that address no longer exists.