Every year around this time, people start forwarding an email (or posting on Facebook) encouraging people to send cards to Walter Reed Hospital. Please do not send cards to Walter Reed or any other military hospital. Your card will not be delivered. If you get this email or see this post, let people know it will NOT work.
There is, however, a program that does work. You’ll need to act fast as the deadline is December 7th. It’s called “Holiday Mail for Heroes” and is overseen by the American Red Cross. My apologies for not posting this earlier… maybe next year someone will submit it or remind me! The program actually starts in October. You can also make a cash donation by visiting the website if there’s not time to send cards.
There are a number of guidelines:
Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:
- Ensure that all cards are signed.
- Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
- Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
- Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
- Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
- Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
- If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.
All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is Friday, December 7th. Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.