The weather in Southern California this holiday season has been delightful. And, a team of dedicated Red Cross workers, volunteers and members of the military decided to take advantage of these beautiful days and one of Santa Monica’s most pleasant venues to organize a record-breaking Holiday Mail for Heroes signing on the Promenade the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
During the course of the afternoon, over 3,000 cards were signed by people out shopping, walking, eating and enjoying the day.
As part of the American Red Cross’ SAF (Services to the Armed Forces) mission, every year chapters pull out the stops to deliver holiday greetings to every working service member. Usually, the cards are hand-signed at offices, schools and Red Cross chapters. But, this year Judy Chambers Beck, the Los Angeles Region Tiffany Circle co-Chair, and Julie Thomas, CEO of the Santa Monica Chapter, jointly came up with the idea to host a signing at the popular 3rd Street Promenade.
Five service members from the Air Force joined in, as adults and children and visiting tourists lined up to sign cards.
“This was so successful for us that next year we’re going to host signings one month before Thanksgiving and again the weekend before,” says Beck. “People often come to us and comment that they got cards when they served, and that it made such a difference to know folks back home cared.”
Beck and a team of volunteers visited the VA Hospital with 400 cards in hand just before the holidays.
“We joined with other charitable groups to hand out the cards, Red Cross comfort kits and hand-knitted goodies to people at the VA,” says Beck. “We got to experience the full circle of bringing cheer to our troops.”