Children Participate in Holiday Mail for Heroes

They need to hear from somebody that loves them.

The deadline is fast approaching for people to take part in the American Red Cross 2012 Holiday Mail for Heroes program. The mailbox will be open until this Friday, December 7.

For the sixth year in a row, the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are giving everyone an opportunity to let the military community know their service is appreciated, especially during the holiday season. When the mailbox closes, 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.

Young Girl Donates 14,000 Cards

In Nashville, Tennessee, Janesa Wine, age 11, collected over 14,000 cards complete with heartfelt messages. She was inspired by Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet Member Amy Grant’s 2010 Holiday Mail for Heroes public service announcement and became involved in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program in three years ago. She received a big surprise recently when Grant stopped by the Nashville Area Chapter of the Red Cross to thank the young girl for her work on the campaign.

"I think she's a young woman that really understands the value of community," Grant said. "And I think that's what a kid does. A kid gets to the heart of a story. They're not thinking about the mechanics. They're thinking, 'What? Somebody's not home. They need to hear from somebody that loves them.'"

“We couldn’t be more amazed at the effort Janesa and her family has undertaken to collect the cards and see that all 14,000 received a special message for our troops,” stated Rebekah Brummett, Service to the Armed Forces specialist at the chapter. “We were equally thrilled when one of our own Tiffany Circle members, Amy Grant, came by our Nashville office to surprise and thank Janesa for her achievement.”

Fifth Grade Classroom Sends Support and Thanks

In Queensbury, New York, the Holiday Mail for Heroes program presented an opportunity for fifth grade teacher Nicole Enny-Tully to engage her classroom in sending thanks to military members. The activity inspired a valuable teaching moment for her students.

“It is great for the students to think of others during this time of year,” said Enny-Tully. “I challenged the students to forget about the video games, iPods, etc. that they want for Christmas, and to think of the soldiers who just want to be with their families for the holidays and they probably won't get that opportunity.”

The students spent their snack time crafting cards with construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors, and glue.

“The best part of having my class make these cards, was reading what they wrote after. The students were so sweet, I'm sure the service men and women are going to love them,” Enny-Tully continued.

Student holiday card inscriptions included messages of support and gratitude:

"My hero, thank you for being brave and courageous..."

"Thank you for the freedom that you give us."

"We love you for what you do!"

"Thank you for risking your life for my freedom."

"I hope you get to see your family soon."

"Thank you for your sacrifices."

"I have developed a great respect for soldiers."

"I am very happy that you are taking time out of your life for us to be safe, have rights, have clean water, and know I am safe."

Last Call for Holiday Cards

If you would like to remember our nation’s heroes during this holiday season, please mail your cards to:

Holiday Mail For Heroes

P.O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

There are guidelines people should follow to ensure their cards go through the review process quickly:

• Only cards are being accepted. Do not send letters.

• All cards should be postmarked no later than December 7, 2012. Please be sure to affix adequate postage.

• Ensure that all cards are signed.

• Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.

• Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.

• Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.

• Please do not send cards with glitter.

About Pitney Bowes:

Delivering more than 90 years of innovation, Pitney Bowes provides software, hardware and services that integrate physical and digital communications channels. Long known for making its customers more productive, Pitney Bowes is increasingly helping other companies grow their business through advanced customer communications management. Pitney Bowes is a $5.4 billion company and employs 30,000 worldwide. Pitney Bowes: Every connection is a new opportunity™.

Tags: HMFH.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.