Thanksgiving - A Time to Send Thanks to Nation’s Military Heroes

To ensure that cards are delivered in time for the holidays, they must be postmarked no later than December 6.

As families gather together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the American Red Cross has a new tradition that families across the country can take part in to say thank you to our nation’s military heroes – the 2013 Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

For the seventh year in a row, the Red Cross is collecting holiday cards and distributing them at military installations, veterans hospitals, and other locations. While sitting around the table, take a minute to write a heartfelt message to U.S. military members, veterans and their families who may be far from their loved ones this holiday season. Everyone can make a card, including family members young or old.

Thanksgiving is a time when we take a minute to pause from our hectic lives and give thanks for our blessings – it is the perfect time to show appreciation to our nation’s heroes for their service to our country. Many people have supported the program over the years; continue to share your gratitude with our service men and women this holiday season.

Take a minute to click through Holiday Mail Cards from Kids that will Melt Your Heart.

SEND AND SHARE CARDS To ensure that cards are delivered in time for the holidays, they must be postmarked no later than December 6.

The Red Cross invites the public to send messages of thanks and holiday cheer by mailing them to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes

P.O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

The Red Cross also invites the public to share photos and videos of their card signing efforts or their holiday greeting for troops by using the hashtag #HolidayMail on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine accounts. The Red Cross will use the material on its social sites throughout the holiday season. The public also can connect with fellow card senders through and

Red Cross volunteers across the United States and on military installations overseas sort and deliver the cards throughout the holiday season. The Red Cross has received and distributed more than 6.5 million cards for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and their families since the program began in 2006.

REMEMBER HOLIDAY CARD GUIDELINES Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials 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 cannot 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.
  • More information can be found at

    Tags: HMFH 2013.
    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.

    About our Corporate Holiday Supporters:
    During this holiday season, the American Red Cross is grateful for those corporate supporters that generously contribute to our Holiday Giving Campaign. They include: Circle K West Coast and Florida Divisions, FedEx, Mazda and its Dealers and Target. Thanks to the generosity of these and other supporters, the Red Cross is able to bring help and hope to people across the country. This holiday season, you can Give Something that Means Something by making a financial gift or donating life-saving blood. To learn more about our corporate holiday supporters, visit