The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
While receiving the 27,222 cards for Veterans and Military Troops around the world, the comment most received while talking to groups/individuals that made “Holiday Mail for Heroes” cards were: “Thank you for this opportunity”. Other comments varied: “We really enjoyed making cards for our military”; “It was a pleasure to participate”; “We want to do this next year” etc.
The “Holiday Mail” project gave an outlet for the patriotism of children and adults. Whether Elementary School Student or Senior Citizens in Retirement Communities all seemed to enjoy saying, “Thanks for Your Service”; “Stay Safe” and “We are Praying for You”.
When visiting both Elementary Schools and Senior Citizens facilities it was great to see all groups “Pledging their Allegiance” to the flag and singing “The Star Spangled Banner”. Everyone can know that the Traditional American Spirit is alive and active in the Mid-South!
The 7th Annual “Holiday Mail for Heroes” during 2013 was received well across the six counties of the Mid-South Red Cross Chapter. Innovation led one rental car organization to invite people renting vehicles to sign a card with the flag on the cover. They had 1,000 cards signed by the traveling public.
A healthcare system encouraged all employees to be involved by asking all departments and groups at churches, schools, as well as families to join in card making. In packets of 7 to 700 they sent in over 8,000 cards.
Retirement Communities started early and set aside one day over several months to hold card making events. One group made 1,000 cards and another over 600 cards.
Information flyers were distributed by Red Cross Staff Members and Volunteers. This led to all types of folks joining in making Holiday Mail: DAR organizations; a Quilting group, military retired Navy females (WAVES); small religious groups, Scouts, and other community groups to list a few.
The outreach went to eleven (11) school districts (public and private) of the Mid-South. District leaders were asked to forward an emailed flyer to Principals and they in turn to teachers. The Emergency Communication Message phone number was included and teachers were urged to forward to parents. At least one class participated from 99 schools. In larger school systems, the regular distribution runs sent cards to the District Office who coordinated with the Red Cross for pick-up/delivery.
This was truly a heart-warming experience to interact with so many different groups who seemed to really want to share their thoughts, interest and concerns with our military communities.
David Compton, Volunteer Lead, Service to the Armed Forces, Mid-South Chapter; Coordinator of “Holiday Mail for Heroes”