Still time to deliver ‘A Touch of Home’ to military members, veterans

As Minnesotans, we know how to celebrate family, friends and holiday cheer. While the cold fronts begin to form and the holiday season fast approaches, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc. are teaming up with the Carver County Library system to deliver letters, cards and holiday messages to service members, their families and veterans around the world.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides Americans the opportunity to send holiday greetings to our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, many of whom will be far from home over the holidays, our nation’s veterans and their families.

Through Dec. 1, the public is once again 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 donating all screening, packaging and shipping to the cause. The Red Cross will mobilize hundreds of volunteers to sort and box cards for delivery to service men and women, veterans and family members in November and December.

“All you need is a pen and piece of paper to share your appreciation of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make each day in their service to our country,” says Libby Fairchild, a Red Cross board member based in Carver County.

Holiday Mail For Heroes is supported by the newly proclaimed Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Chapter in Chanhassen and Chaska. In Carver County, drop-off points for cards will include Carver County library branches in Chanhassen, Chaska, Norwood Young America, Waconia and Watertown. For more information on library locations please visit www.carverlib.org.

Last year, with the help of Pitney Bowes, hundreds of volunteers screened, sorted and packaged cards that were delivered to military bases, veteran and military hospitals across the U.S. and around the world.

“Sending a card is a simple way to show our gratitude for the tremendous sacrifice that our military personnel and their families make every single day on the nation’s behalf,” said Kevin Connolly, Vice President and General Manager of North American Service Delivery, Pitney Bowes Management Services and Vice President, Strategic Transformation for Pitney Bowes. “The holiday season is a perfect time for all Americans to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you.’ We are pleased to join forces with the Red Cross for the sixth year to help make that happen.”

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

Cards must be postmarked no later than Dec. 1; 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. Please note that homemade cards are welcomed and envelopes are not necessary.

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

Additional ways to become involved with the campaign include connecting with fellow card senders through Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcross and Twitter at www.twitter.com/redcross using the hashtag #holidaymail.

Visit www.redcrossmn.org to learn more about Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.

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