Mail for Heroes at Trick or Treat Safety Street
The mercury is dropping, the leaves are changing colors and the holiday season is fast approaching. Halloween and the annual Trick or Treat Safety Street alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating will be held in Minden at the CVIC Hall on Oct. 31.
Various organizations throughout the county turn the inside of the hall into a maze of “streets” with different “houses” for children to safely visit for treats. The doors will be open from 3- 8 p.m. for all our ghosts and goblins to show off their costumes and fill their bags with goodies.
The Red Cross will be on scene serving hot chocolate and coffee to everyone. They will also have a table set up for you to sign holiday cards to be sent to military members, veterans and their families as part of the annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Partnering with Pitney Bowes for the fourth year, they are hoping to collect one million cards to distribute this season.
It’s a great opportunity for us to send a personal message to the men and women stationed both near and far thanking them for their sacrifice and service.
The cards are also delivered to veterans and service members who are in Veterans Administration Hospitals as well as Wounded Warrior Units.
More than 3 million cards have been distributed in the first three years of the program. The handwritten messages of support and well wishes have touched the hearts of the people who have received the cards.
School classes, church groups, scout troops, civic groups and other organizations have held card making or card signing events in the fall.
The cards are then mailed in bulk (you don’t need to put them in envelopes) to Holiday Mail for Heroes, P. O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.
Individuals can also send cards to the post office box.
They must be received by Dec. 10 to allow time for Pitney Bowes to screen them for hazardous materials before shipping them to local Red Cross chapters and to military units overseas.
Please visit http://www.redcross.org/holidaymail for tips and ideas for group events as well as a list of items that should not be included. As an example, glitter is dangerous for hospital patients. Also, this program is for cards so care packages should not be sent to the post office box.
Pitney Bowes provides the post office box, screens the cards, packages and ships the cards at no charge. They also contribute thousands of volunteer hours at various sites around the United States.
When the cards are received at local chapters, they are sorted according to how they are addressed – service member, family member or veteran. Then local volunteers will deliver the cards to the military installations and organizations in the area throughout December.
Have a ramblin’ good week.
Reach Gail Davis at RuhenstrothRamblings@yahoo.com