DETROIT (WWJ) – Though they’re still sparkling off in the distance, the holidays will be on us before we know it, which is why the American Red Cross is urging people to start thinking about soldiers.

The Red Cross is asking people to send messages of encouragement, cheer and gratitude.

Between October 1 and December 7, Americans can give something in appreciation to members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

“It just takes a moment to sign a card to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the military community make,” said Eleanor Ivy, Services to the Armed Forces manager “You say thanks, we’ll do the rest.”

This initiative comes courtesy of Pitney Bowes Inc., which receives cards at the Holiday Mail post office box and screens them for hazardous materials. Pitney Bowes screens packages and ships the cards at no charge, and contributes thousands of volunteer hours at sites around the country.

Red Cross volunteers across the United States and military installations overseas then sort and deliver the cards throughout the holiday season. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes have received and distributed more than 4.7 million cards for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and their families since the program began in 2006.

The Southeastern Michigan Region will hold several Holiday Mail for Heroes card signings around the region. The schedule of events will be posted on this website.  These events will give the public a chance to sign a card, get more information on their service to the Armed Forces program and ensure that the card will get in the hands of a service member.

The cards must be postmarked no later than December 7 in order to ensure that cards are delivered in time for the holidays. Individuals are asked to refrain from sending “care packages,” monetary donations, or using glitter or any other kinds of inserts with the cards. More information and card requirements are found at

The public can connect with fellow card senders through Facebook at and using the hashtag #holidaymail.

The Red Cross is inviting the public to send messages of thanks and holiday cheer until December 7 by mailing them to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes

P.O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

The Southeastern Michigan Region serves the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Lenawee, Monroe, and St. Clair.


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