The American public remembered members of the U.S. military, their families and veterans by sending in more than 1.2 million cards during the sixth annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program, a joint initiative of the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes.
The holiday cards bearing messages of thanks and gratitude were distributed all over the world, on military bases and in military hospitals, veteran’s hospitals and to military families in the U.S. and abroad. All across the country, people from all walks of life sent in cards, remembering the men and women who serve their country.
This year, nine National Football League teams supported the program by helping host card-signing events at games and celebrities such as Trace Adkins supported the campaign. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate held card signings on Capitol Hill. The first families of Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Georgia visited military and veterans’ hospitals to distribute cards.
“We thank all the generous people who collectively sent in more than a million cards this year,” said Sherri Brown, senior vice president, Service to the Armed Forces at the Red Cross. “The cards went to people all over the world, to places far and near, including ships at sea. These expressions of thanks and cheer make the holidays a little brighter for those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”
The cards went to a special post office box operated by Pitney Bowes, who screened, packaged and shipped the cards at no charge to Red Cross offices around the world. Red Cross and Pitney Bowes volunteers helped screen, sort and deliver the holiday greetings to the military, veterans and their families.
Holiday Mail for Heroes began in December 2007, when Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. approached the Red Cross to assist in distributing thousands of holiday cards to hospitalized servicemen and women. In response to this request, the Red Cross partnered with Pitney Bowes to turn the project into a larger opportunity that could reach members of the military at other medical facilities in this country and abroad.