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Holiday Mail for Heroes program under way

by jmaloni
Sat, Nov 13th 2010 12:00 pm
For a fourth year, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc. are teaming up to deliver holiday cards to service members, their families and veterans, many of whom will be far from home this holiday season. The Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides Americans with the opportunity to send holiday greetings and a note of thanks to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Now through Dec. 10, the public is invited to send a "touch of home" through holiday cards that contain messages of cheer and appreciation. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen 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. Pitney Bowes is providing all screening, packaging and shipping at no charge. The Red Cross will utilize hundreds of volunteers to sort and box cards for delivery to service men and women, veterans and family members in November and December. 

"Sending a greeting card is a small effort that makes a big impact for our American heroes during the holiday season," said Maureen Siekierski, executive director of the Niagara County American Red Cross. "The American Red Cross serves and supports members of the military, veterans, and their families by providing emergency communications, comfort and assistance each day. The Holiday Mail for Heroes program continues the Red Cross tradition of service to the armed forces."

Last year, with the help of Pitney Bowes, hundreds of volunteers screened, sorted and packaged cards that were delivered to military bases, veterans and military hospitals across the U.S. and around the world. In Niagara County, several members of the American Red Cross Club of Lockport High School sorted and distributed 2,963 holiday cards

"Few can truly understand the tremendous sacrifice that our military personnel and their families make every single day on the nation's behalf," said Vicki O'Meara, senior vice president and president of Pitney Bowes management services and government and regulatory affairs. "Now more than ever, it is important for all Americans to seize the opportunity to say ‘thank you.' We are thrilled to join with the American Red Cross to help make that happen."

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

Be sure to affix adequate postage. Cards must be received no later than Friday, Dec. 10. Cards received after this date will be returned to senders. For reasons of processing and safety, participants are asked to refrain from sending "care packages," monetary gifts, using glitter or including any inserts with the cards.

Visit http://www.redcross.org/holidaymail for a full list of recommended guidelines and best practices on the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

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