Red Cross will deliver cards to U.S. troops
by Beckye Randall
The urban myth about sending holiday cards to "Any Recovering Soldier" at Walter Reed Hospital just won't die. The fact is that any mail without a specific name and address will not be delivered to American servicemembers, whether overseas or recovering here at home.
However, there is a surefire way to share a gift of holiday cheer with an American in the military through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
"You can give a special gift of cheer this holiday season to someone who has already given so much by his or her unselfish gifts of dedication, commitment and sacrifice, " said Bev Walker, director of Service to the Armed Forces, a part of the Snohomish County Chapter of the American Red Cross. "It's as simple as sending a card to Holiday Mail for Heroes."
The program is a partnership between the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes to deliver one million holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families.
This year's program, which began on Veterans Day, is a follow-up to the 2007 effort that resulted in the collection and distribution of more than 600,000 cards to hospitalized servicemembers. This year's program will expand its reach to include not only wounded military personnel, but also to veterans and their families.
Cards will be distributed around the world through the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces Network. They will go to stateside VA hospitals and clinics, and to military bases in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. Those stationed at military installations and hospitals in Germany, Korea, Naval Station Everett and other military facilities in the United States and around the world are also included.
All cards must be sent to Holiday Mail for Heroes, PO Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456, and postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10.
Pitney Bowes is donating technology, resources and postage to make this holiday card program possible. Every card received will first be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working in one of 16 sorting stations around the country.
When sending cards, use these guidelines:
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