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Health

October 17, 2013

Send holiday cards to soldiers, veterans

Each year, the American Red Cross provides assistance to more than 2 million service members and many of the nation’s 24 million veterans.

Red Cross support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe .Once a year, they deliver holiday cards to veterans, military families and active-duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world.

The cards and personal messages, sent by tens of thousands of Americans, provide a welcome “touch of home” for the troops during the holiday season.

Each year, the Red Cross collects cards between October and early December and then distribute them at military installations, veterans hospitals, and in other locations.

There are several ways to be part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. In addition to sending cards on your own, you may want to start making plans to host card signing parties or card making parties. Here are a few guidelines.

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.

Ensure that all cards are signed. Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not 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.

Refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.

Anyone mailing a large quantity of cards, is asked to 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.

All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to: Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD, 20791-5456

The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is Dec. 6. Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.

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