American Red Cross Kicks Off Annual Holiday Program

Holiday Mail for Heroes
“Holiday Mail for Heroes” Runs Through December 6th”

ALBANY, NY (October 21, 2013) The American Red Cross has kicked off its annual “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program and invites Americans to show their gratitude and best wishes for those who serve our country, vets and their families by sending holiday cards.

From now until December 6th, Americans can create and send cards to service members, veterans and their families who will receive cards from across the country and from around the world.

“Everyone is extremely busy, especially around the holidays, so a few minutes can mean a lot,” said Gary Striar, CEO, American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region. “While it may not seem like much, a hand-written note to a service member spending time away from his or her family makes a world of difference.”

The Northeastern New York Region, which is made up of 17 counties and includes offices in Albany, Glens Falls, Poughkeepsie and Plattsburgh, will be holding a number of card signing events at various locations over the next couple of months. More specific dates and times will be announced.

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

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.

To ensure that cards are delivered in time for the holidays, they must be postmarked no later than December 6th. Individuals are asked to refrain from sending letters, monetary donations or any other kinds of inserts with the cards. Please also refrain from using glitter. More information and card requirements can be found at redcross.org/holidaymail

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 Facebook.com/redcross and Twitter.com/redcross.

The Red Cross relies on the support of the American people to carry out its mission of service to the 2 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces, 24 million veterans and their families. During this holiday season, the public can also support all Red Cross services by making a financial donation at redcross.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. Individuals can also give the gift of life by making an appointment to give blood at redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross

About our Holiday Partners:

During this holiday season, the American Red Cross is grateful for the support of our corporate partners that generously contribute to our Holiday Giving Campaign. They include: University of Phoenix, Circle K and its customers in the West and Florida divisions, and Community Safety Foundation, funded by CSAA Insurance Group, an AAA Insurer. Thanks to the generosity of these and other sponsors, the Red Cross is able to carry out its mission of helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies everyday here and around the world. Each holiday season the Red Cross gives everyone the chance to support our work by giving blood, signing a card for military heroes or buying a gift through our holiday catalog. To support the Red Cross this Holiday Season, visit redcross.org/holiday.