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The Holiday Mail for Heroes project kicked off today (10/1). The public is encouraged to sign holiday cards with words of thanks and encouragement and send them to be distributed to members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.
Nigel Holderby, spokesperson for the Red Cross, Greater Ozarks Chapter, says 4.7 million cards have been distributed since the project began in 2006.
The Red Cross asks that you NOT send care packages, monetary donations or inserts of any kind—and no glitter.
To participate, stamp cards and send them to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
Nigel Holderby: “Basically, the cards go to the P.O. Box in Maryland and then they're scanned, and, you know, we always want to be sure that what we're sending out to our troops and to the members of our service that are in the hospital or wherever they are, that we want to be sure that they're safe, and so Pitney-Bowes does a scan of all of those cards to make sure that there's nothing bad in them and then they send those in boxes back to the American Red Cross."
Red Cross volunteers then sort the cards and prepare them for distribution. Volunteers also hand deliver the messages to veterans in area nursing homes and hospitals. Some cards are sent to service men and women overseas.
Holderby says Holiday Mail for Heroes would make a great group project…
"What I'd love to encourage the community to do is really to get some people together, do a holiday cards signing event, get your cards gathered up and mail them to the P.O. Box."
There will also be volunteer opportunities at sorting events to be held by the Red Cross.
The public can connect with fellow card senders through Facebook at facebook.com/redcross and Twitter.com/redcross using the hash tag #holidaymail.
For more information, redcross.org/holidaymail.
Cards must be postmarked by December 7th.
For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.