This holiday season, many service members will find themselves far from their home and loved ones. The American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program helps thank the men and women serving in the military during the holidays, bringing smiles to their faces and boosting morale. These festive cards containing kind words remind them that they and their service are not forgotten amid the bustle of the season.
On Saturday, November 17, military families, Blue Star Families, girl scouts and boy scouts joined the Red Cross to make cards for the 2012 Holiday Mail for Heroes program. With markers, paper, stickers and stencils, these families gathered at the Red Cross Hall of Service in Washington, D.C. to create cards filled with words of gratitude, encouragement and season’s greetings for our troops.
Beau Blew, LT, U.S. Army, sat with his wife making holiday cards. He had received cards through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program when serving in Afghanistan from February 2010 to November 2011.
“The best cards are the ones from the little kids because the S’s are backwards,” Blew said with a smile. “They are really sincere. A lot of kids aren’t exposed to the military, but at least they know there are people out there taking care of them.”
Mary Weaver and her two children, Ryan and Anna, a Blue Star Family from Gainesville, Va., also joined the Red Cross card making event for the first time.
As Ryan, age 7, stenciled a reindeer onto his card, he said he was making cards for “people who are not going to here for Christmas,” and hoped the recipients would like them. Ryan had already crafted a card in the shape of a stocking while his sister worked on a card with a big yellow star.
“We hung them (the holiday cards) up in the chow hall, so we had holiday cards up year round,” said Blew.
How to Send Your Own Holiday Cards
From now until December 7, the public is invited to send holiday cards that contain messages of cheer and appreciation. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen the cards for hazardous materials, sort and package the cards, and deliver them to military bases and hospitals, veteran’s hospitals and other locations during the holidays.
The Holiday Mail for Heroes post office box is open and ready to receive cards. Please send all mail to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:
For more information and card requirements, please visit Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes.
Each year the Red Cross provides assistance to more than two million service members and many of our nation’s 24 million veterans. The Red Cross supports military families, military and veterans hospitals and provides emergency communications across the globe.