The holiday season is just around the corner and it's time again to start thinking about being part of the 2011 American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes. For a fifth year, American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are partnering to ensure all Americans have an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of our U.S. military, veterans and their families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season.
Starting this fall and throughout the holiday season, the Red Cross is working with Pitney Bowes, a mail stream technology company, to collect and distribute holiday cards to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world.
The process is very simple and takes no time at all - All you need is a pen and piece of paper to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the U.S. Armed Forces make to protect our freedoms The Holiday Mail for Heroes mail box is open and ready to receive for your cards.
Kathy Nesmith, executive director of the Warren County Chapter for the American Red Cross serving Warren and DeKalb County, said you can drop off your cards at the Smithville, Liberty, and Alexandria Senior Citizen Centers. "We want to ask everyone to write a Christmas card. Either make it or buy a Christmas card and sign a special message to soldiers thanking them for their service that they provide for us everyday. We also want to thank our veterans. We can't forget the veterans who have served in past years. We want to make sure these cards go out to all the military hospitals and military installations. We want to make sure they are going overseas and here locally as well. We want to show our support and what better time to start than during the week of Veterans Day. Everyone is asked to sign a card so we can get them sent out by Christmas. Just general cards cannot go out to these hospitals unless they are scanned for anthrax and different things like that. They will not let just general cards go out into these facilities. They have to be scanned. They have to be read for hate mail as awful as that sounds. Unfortunately that has to be done. The American Red Cross will facilitate getting the cards to the place where they need to be scanned and then distributed to the different places," said Nesmith.
The three senior citizens centers in DeKalb County will serve as the drop off points for the cards, according to Nesmith. "We have three drop off points, which are our three senior citizen centers here in DeKalb County at Alexandria, Liberty, and Smithville. You have until Monday, November 28 to have those cards at those centers. There are a few guidelines. A few do's and don'ts. Each of those centers will have information available concerning what you can and can't do. For example, you can't put glitter on cards. So get your church group and your school involved," said Nesmith.
Sending a "touch of home" to American men and women who serve our country is the perfect way to express your appreciation and support during the holiday season.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross will soon be opening an office in Smithville according to Nesmith. "The Red Cross is going to have an office here and we're going to be seeking disaster volunteers. That will be top priority," she said. The location for the office has not yet been determined.