Holiday mail for troops, veterans

In this season of hope and giving, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc. are teaming up to invite the public to "send a touch of home" to U.S. service members and veterans across the country and abroad through the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign.Now in its fourth year, the Holiday Mail for Heroes program gives Americans the opportunity to extend holiday greetings and thanks to service members and veterans. Since 2007, the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes have distributed 3 million cards to military men and women, their families and veterans. The public can also support military members, veterans and their families this year by making an online donation at Donors can then add a personal message to one of four holiday cards designed by Amy Grant, Jane Seymour, Miley Cyrus and Dr. Phil McGraw, members of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet. The Red Cross will then send the printed holiday card on their behalf to a military member, veteran or family. For the second year in a row, contemporary music artist and American Red Cross celebrity cabinet member Amy Grant is joining the campaign as spokesperson. This year, Vince Gill also joins Amy as a co-chair for the program. "I'm so excited to be a part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program again," said Grant. "It's such a great, heartwarming way to give thanks to the men and women who serve our country, especially during the holiday season." Grant will celebrate the campaign's official launch with the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes at a Veterans Day event in Washington, where she will join military and public guests in signing holiday cards for the program. "This is the perfect time to let service members and veterans know they are remembered and appreciated, especially since many will be away from home or without loved ones during the holidays," said Sherri Brown, senior vice president of Service to the Armed Forces at the American Red Cross. "If we can help brighten their day, then we've done our job." "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, executive vice president and president of Pitney Bowes Management Services. "Now more than ever, it is important for all Americans to seize the opportunity to say 'thank you.'" The public can participate in the campaign by sending holiday cards with personal messages to: Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456 Cards must be received no later than December 10. Please be sure to affix adequate postage. 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. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will screen cards for hazardous materials, sort and package the cards, and deliver them to military bases and hospitals, veteran's hospitals and other locations in the U.S. and abroad during the holidays. Pitney Bowes is providing all screening, packaging and shipping at no charge, as well as providing thousands of volunteer hours around the country. The Red Cross will utilize volunteers at more than 200 participating chapters nationwide to sort and deliver greetings to military and veteran's hospitals and military bases in November and December. Additional ways to become involved with the campaign include connecting with fellow card senders through Facebook at and Twitter at

********** Published: November 11, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 30