Many of you have gotten an email or a Facebook post asking you to send a letter to a wounded soldier. It sounds like an amazing charitable thing to do, a way to brighten spirits, and that for the small cost of a stamp you can feel like you’re making a difference, right?
Unfortunately many of these posts are misleading or even wrong.
Snopes.com – Walter Reed Cards
Don’t lose hope, though! There is a way to send cards!
The American Red Cross is delivering holiday cards to heroes, with some very specific guidelines (from their website):
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:
All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:
- 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.
Holiday Mail for HeroesThe deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is Friday, December 7th.
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.