As the holidays near, the American Red Cross of Northeastern California Chapter is making sure members and veterans of the U.S. military will receive some holiday cheer with its annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
On Wednesday, November 12, 2014, about 20 girls from several Colusa County Girl Scouts troops gathered for a few hours of stamping, drawing and crafting unique holiday cards for our nation’s heroes.
“The girls just love it!” said Jeanie Kessinger, area Red Cross coordinator.
For some, the message was a simple message of thanks – but for the recipients it will mean so much more.
“Thank you for your service,” one said.
“Merry Christmas,” and “Thank You,” said another.
Colusa Citizen, Elvira Gutierrez assisted with the operation bringing lots of donated supplies from card parties in the past.
“I have held several card parties similar to this one in the past,” said Gutierrez, “It’s a great way to show that we care.”
Colusa County Girl Scouts Craft Holiday Cards for Heroes
Up through the 2013 holiday season, the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes sponsored a “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program distributing holiday cards to service members who are recovering in military hospitals and to service members stationed throughout the U.S. and abroad.
However, the program took a change in 2014 when Pitney Bowes no longer sponsored the event.
“There isn’t a mailbox for anyone to mail their cards to anymore,” said Kessenger, “it is up to the local area Red Cross Chapters to distribute the cards locally.”
The cards that the Girls created during the night will be distributed to a local service member within the Northeastern California Chapter area.
BEWARE OF MISINFORMATION
If you’re on social media, then you’ve seen the post encouraging friends to write a special holiday card this year to a recovering soldier at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center; however, heartwarming the information provided is false.
“The Walter Reed Army Medical Center officials want to remind those individuals who want to show their appreciation through mail to include packages and letters, addressed to “Any Wounded Soldier” that Walter Reed will not be accepting these packages in support of the decision by then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Transportation Policy in 2001. This decision was made to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff at medical centers throughout the Department of Defense,” said in a press release.
Additionally the U.S. Postal Service will not accept letters or packages addressed to “Any Service Member” or “Any Wounded Service Member”, these letters and packages will be returned to the sender or will be discarded or donated to a charity of choice if no return address is given.
Visit redcross.org/holidaymail for more information.