WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of thousands of cards are making their way to U.S. service members, veterans and their loved ones worldwide through Holiday Mail for Heroes from the American Red Cross.
Sponsored by Pitney Bowes, the program aims to give members of the Armed Forces a "touch of home" this holiday season.
The Red Cross collected holiday cards throughout the past several weeks for distribution on military bases and hospitals, veterans' hospitals and other locations in the U.S. and abroad during the holidays. Pitney Bowes donated all screening, packaging and shipping.
Over a million cards were collected this year, bringing the total to about 4.5 million cards over the past five years.
This year's cards included cards done by school children, senior citizens, churches, Scout troops, businesses college sororities, members of Congress and other elected officials, television anchors, and a wide range of other people. Many cards were hand made or hand painted, others were distributed for signing by companies, and the cards even included at least one in Braille.
"The American people have been extremely generous this year, taking a break from their busy schedules to write words of encouragement and gratitude to those who serve our country," said Sherri Brown, senior vice president of Service to the Armed Forces at the Red Cross. "Receiving a simple, heartfelt message can mean the world to service members away from their families during the holidays."
The mailbox for the 2011 Holiday Mail for Heroes program is now closed, but Americans wanting to help military members, veterans and their families can visit the Red Cross holiday giving catalog and click on "Help Our Troops." The online catalog offers symbolic donations to help provide members of the Armed Forces with phone cards and comfort kits as well as assist homeless veterans, among many other options.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at blog.redcross.org.