Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Walter Reed" Email


Since it's nearly November (ack!), it's that time of year. That "Send a Christmas card to Any Recovering Soldier at Walter Reed" email is about to start going around again. Please help by NOT forwarding it to your friends and family; and if you receive it, please reply to them and ask them to come to this post or to the Red Cross website for accurate info! In the past a lot of mail got tossed or returned, and we want all those letters to go to the right place! (Note: If you're used to "Dear Hero", you can use that in writing letters instead of "Service Member" as is suggested here.) Once they post an address, we'll add it to this post, so you can bookmark here or on their page.

The following is re-posted from the Red Cross site:

Holiday Mail for Heroes


Send a Touch of Home

Proudly Supported by Pitney Bowes

Send a touch of home to the real heroes of America and their families! Holiday Mail for Heroes is back again!
For the third year in a row, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are working together to collect, sort and distribute holiday cards to service members, veterans and their families.
The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will begin accepting cards on November 2, 2009. So get your pens and postage stamps ready and watch for the address in the coming weeks on http://www.redcross.org/holidaymail

All cards must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 7, 2009. Cards postmarked after December 7 will be returned to the sender. This deadline ensures enough time to sort and distribute cards before the holidays.
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456


Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
If you would like to begin working on your cards now, here are some quick guidelines to ensure your cards makes to a hero as quickly as possible:
Do...
  • Ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Make cards more meaningful to a wide variety of recipients by using “Dear Service Member, Family or Veteran” rather than any more specific language. You are encouraged to send holiday-neutral cards rather than religious-themed cards. Note: Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
  • Limit the number of cards to 15 from any one person or 50 from any one school class, business or group. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.
Do not...
  • Send letters. Only cards are being accepted.
  • Include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Include cards with excessive amounts of glitter. Because cards may be received by wounded service members and veterans in hospitals, large quantities of glitter could aggravate existing health problems.
  • Include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.

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