2 minute readHoliday, Military Support

Holiday Mail for Heroes 2010

2016 Update: Thank you for your interest in our Holiday Mail for Heroes program. This year the program has transitioned to Holidays for Heroes, where local Red Cross offices can identify and engage local members of the military and veteran communities in a variety of activities to offer thanks and recognition. We would encourage you to contact your local Red Cross office for details. If they are not participating in Holidays for Heroes, please reach out to your local military and veterans organizations to inquire about their holiday activities.


Card Delivery at Luke Air Force Base

Holiday Mail For Heroes is back for a fourth year! The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will collect holiday cards from regular citizens all across the country and distribute them to service members, veterans, and their families. Many active service members must spend the holidays apart from their family. Give back this holiday season by sending a card to thank those who have given a great deal to their country.

Send cards to the address below, and please read the guidelines carefully!

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD

All cards must be postmarked no later than Friday, December 10th. Cards postmarked after this date will unfortunately be returned to the sender. This deadline ensures enough time to sort and distribute cards before the holidays.

After the mailbox closes, the cards we received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.

Learn more about the screening process here .[VIDEO]

This year, we are thrilled to welcome back celebrity cabinet member Amy Grant. Amy will once again be joining us for our special kick-off and card signing event on November 11th, Veteran’s Day.

Holiday Mail for Heroes 2010 Celebrity Cabinet Cards
Amy Grant’s holiday card design

Amy and several other celebrity cabinet members also collaborated with us this year to create custom holiday cards that you can purchase (a $25 donation to our Service to the Armed Forces) and send to the Holiday Mail mailbox as well as to your friends and family. Check out designs from Dr. Phil, Miley Cyrus, and Jane Seymour!

You can also contribute more than just cards. Our holiday gift catalog lists several different contributions you can make to provide much-needed items for service members, such as phone cards and “comfort kits”.

If you are a blogger or website owner interested in showing your support for our charity, you can use the resources below. There is also a Holiday Mail for Heroes resource page that will contain the latest news and information.

Watch the #holidaymail hashtag on Twitter, and use the hashtag when you talk about the program!

Contact us at @RedCross and Pitney Bowes at @Mail4Heroes with questions or comments! We will be posting information and news on Twitter.

We will be updating our Youtube channel regularly. Check out our Holiday Mail for Heroes playlist.

Our Holiday Mail 2010 set on Flickr will also be continuously updated as we gather more photos from our chapters and official events. Click here to see last year’s photos. All Flickr photos are available for you to use for personal (not commercial) purposes – just make sure to link back to our Flickr page!

Website Buttons
Here are some buttons and banners you can use on your own sites to support the program! Below each image is the code that will allow you to insert it into a website with a link back to the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes resource page.

Copy this code to put it on your site:

<a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/holidaymail"><img src="http://296y67419hmo2gej4j232hyf-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/holiday-mail-for-her_38b4ba.jpg" height="120" width="120"></a>

Copy this code to put it on your site:

<a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/holidaymail"><img src="http://296y67419hmo2gej4j232hyf-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/holiday-mail-for-her_38b518.jpg" height="200" width="170"></a>

Click image to see full size

Copy this code to put it on your site:

<a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/holidaymail"><img src="http://296y67419hmo2gej4j232hyf-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/holidaymailforheroes.jpg" height="100" width="700"></a>

join the conversation.

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  1. Our Bible Study group is so excited to participate in this again this year. We do have a question: Should individual envelopes be included for each card? Thanks you and God bless our troops!

  2. JoyfulJan – thanks for the comment! You do not need to include an envelope for each card – they will be opened anyway when we perform the card screening for hazardous materials.

  3. I am collecting cards from many girl scouts. May I send them along to you in a box or large envelope, or does each card need to be sent individually? Thank you for all you do to help us in the community reach across to our troops overseas.

  4. I have a question. What’s the difference between a ‘card’ and a ‘letter?’ Do cards have to be store-bought cards, or postcards? Or do you just mean that cards shouldn’t exceed one page?

  5. Spencer – the cards can be home made. I believe that the cards should not exceed one page (at which point they would probably be more like letters), since we want cards that are one piece- no inserts or booklets. Hope this helps!

  6. I hope they will allow me to send a box of cards, will be all made out and unsealed so you all can check that box full…

    Love our heroes and the families that wait at home for them, they are heroes too…


  7. On the Guidelines page for sending cards it says individuals should only send 15 cards. Curious as to why are there such limitations imposed on individuals. Will be sending cards out for the first time this year.

  8. God Bless our troops this holiday season! I receive many free Christmas cards from various charities with the charity’s name and address on the backs of the cards. I would like to send these as greeting cards to the troops but want to make sure first that they will make it all the way through the screening process. Any comments/suggestions?

  9. I work in a school program and this year the children are going to make Christmas cards for the soldiers. When sending all the cards, in one large envelop, is there a weight limit when I take it to the post office to send?

  10. I would like to have our children’s Sunday School send cards. It would be a large number of cards (approx. 80 – 100). Can I send them all together in one or two large Envelopes?


  11. Julie – The suggested tip on limiting individual contributions to 15 cards is just a guideline. We want to encourage people to stick to about that amount of cards per person, just to maintain variety in the inbox.

    DK – Those free cards should be okay to send in, as long as they do not have any detachable elements of excessive amounts of glitter.

    Denise – It is 15 cards per person, and as I described above to Julie, it is a guideline. We only ask that you keep the amount of cards that you send in at a reasonable level.

    Michelle – There is no weight limit, but keep in mind that the weight will affect how much postage costs for you. We do request that each mailing envelope contain no more than 50 cards, as that helps with the sorting process.

    Christina – Please send the cards in bundles of 50 or less, as that helps in our sorting process.

    Thank you all!

  12. I just want to thank Gloria for her good answers to our questions, and everyone else for opening up their hearts to our freedom fighters. God Bless them all, now and always.

  13. Thank you for all your information. We just want to make sure our cards are received by our troops and their families! I appreciate being able clarify things.with a live person. Thank you for being available. All of our family’s and my day care kids’ cards are ready to send out. So happy I found the project this year!

  14. […] Since returning from a trip to Iraq in 2008, I have worked to find ways to help our service men and women. One thing that my family does each year is send homemade holiday cards to people serving in our armed forces through a program called Holiday Mail for Heroes. […]

  15. Our church congregation would like to make cards as part of a Christmas themed service activity. Unfortunately, the activity is being held on Dec 10th in the evening so we could not get the postmark until the 11th. But, we are in Montgomery County, MD. Is there any way we could hand deliver the cards to a local RC chapter? I cannot find a phone number to call about this.

  16. I would love to have my students make cards for Holiday Mail for Heroes. Are there any size specifications I should be aware of before letting the students make their cards?

    Thank you.

  17. Thank you so much for doing this. I am sending several packages to my husband who is in Afghanistan, but I know there are several service members who do not have connections with friends of family. They will be greatly appreciated by all.
    Thanks for the support!
    Proud Air Force Wife!

  18. I work for a Red Cross blood donor center and we have collected 1,150 cards. Is it acceptable to send them all in one FedEx box or do I need to send 23 envelopes of 50? Thank you.

  19. Thought you were the group that takes cards to wounded warriors at Walter Reed & Bethesda Naval Hospital when I first got the info on Facebook … now am starting to wonder if you aren’t the same group? Worked in Capital Hts. in the late 1980s and early 1990s at Branch Electric’s warehouse … God bless …

  20. As a wife of a Navy man who is gone again this year for the holidays, I love this!! My children and I will be sending some cards in support of our military family!!

  21. Will the Red Cross be compiling a database of the names and addresses of the people that send in cards, so that they (Red Cross) can later send out solicitations in the mail asking for donations or money at a later date? Because, if so, I would NOT be interested in sending a card (or cards) in so that the Red Cross can profit off of it.

  22. My friends and I are holding an event at school so that they can come by and write letters, once mailed, will there be a letter sent back replying that you received them?

  23. Would you like the cards to be generic for all holidays or is it ok to be specific (christmas for our christian members, Hannukah for our judaic memebers, Yule for our wiccan members etc.) ?

  24. this will be my first yr doing this, and i am going to have the kids make some homemade cards as well, i have posted this on my facebook and hopes it helps bring in more cards. i think this is a wonderfull thing that you are doing and i am surprised i havent found out about this sooner…god bless and happy holidays to all of our soldiers…

  25. […] and the Post Office have instead suggested using the Red Cross's Holiday Mail for Heroes avenue, Holiday Mail for Heroes 2010. Letters have to be postmarked by December 10th to be included though, so you have a week!! […]

  26. As a former service member who served in a very diverse military community I think what we have to keep in mind in sending these cards is:

    its the holiday season, but not *everyone* is Christian and not everyone believes the same things so I would imagine an influx of cards proselytizing is not appealing or appreciated.

  27. I’m happy to be doing Holiday Mail for Heroes 2010 this year. It’ll be my first time sending holiday cards to men and women serving our country, and I’m happy to be able to do it.

  28. Jeb – we absolutely will not capture the addresses on the packages for other purposes. Thanks for your interest!

    Stephanie – unfortunately, we are unable to respond to the cards we receive. We receive hundreds of thousands of cards each year, which you can imagine takes a great amount of resources to be able to process. It’s a great idea, though, and perhaps in the future we may be able to do so. Thanks!

    Lily – Generic holiday cards are much easier and versatile for us to deliver. We do try to make sure that religious cards are sorted out and delivered to appropriate people.

    BA – photo cards are acceptable, though we require that photos and other inserts be firmly attached to the card through glue or any other means.

  29. It’s not a big deal, but I am wondering why we are not allowed to give our home or email addresses?

  30. ?several years ago my4-7yr.olds sent cards and unopened treats directly to Walter Reed what I have viewed here is not what we had in mind as we will be packing our box on the 8th of December and may miss your dead line. Is there another address to send to Walter Reed? thanks

  31. CK – We ask that you don’t provide your home and email addresses for safety reasons – since our delivery process is unable to track exactly who receives your card, we also do not want your personal information be distributed without precise tracking.

    Maxizine – Unfortunately, Walter Reed will not accept cards and packages. You can still send cards to our Holiday Mail address if they are postmarked by the 10th – we do not accept packages of other treats. Thanks!

  32. An additional issue is video games are usually serious anyway with the primary focus on studying rather than amusement. Although, it has an entertainment feature to keep your kids engaged, each and every game is frequently designed to focus on a specific set of skills or program, such as mathematics or scientific discipline. Thanks for your article.

  33. I see that the Holiday Mail for Heroes page has been updated for 2011. WONDERFUL that it’s being done again! What a great way to remember our heroes at the holidays! I noticed that there’s no cutoff or send-by date yet. Does anyone know when that will be?

  34. From sending individual cards and organizing card making events, to connecting with fellow card senders through social media channels to help us get the word out; there are many ways you can become involved with Holiday Mail for Heroes. Visit,