3 minute readHoliday

Holiday Mail for Heroes 2011

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.

Welcome to the fifth year of our Holiday Mail For Heroes program! As in previous years, we will partner with Pitney Bowes to collect holiday cards from regular citizens all across the country and distribute them to service members, veterans, and their families. If you’re looking for a fun way to give back a little bit this holiday season, this is a great option. Check out our slideshow of cards from previous years for some inspiration.

Send cards to the address below:

Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

All cards must be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9th. 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]

Online Cards

This year, we have a new option to create cards online – just select one out of four great designs and type in your personal message, and we will print the card out for you and deliver it with all of the other cards we receive. The best part is that each card only costs $1.

To send cards online, go to mailforheroes.com.

Card Guidelines

  • All cards being sent in for 2011 Holiday Mail For Heroes program should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9, 2011.
  • 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 letters.
  • Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
  • Please refrain from sending holiday cards with glitter. Many of these cards will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities and the glitter could interfere with a patient’s recovery.
  • We encourage participants to mail as many cards as they are comfortable sending. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes or use a flat rate box from the post office. Each card does not need its own envelope, as cards will be removed from all envelopes before distribution.

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, 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 2011 set on Flickr will also be continuously updated as we gather more photos. 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/2011/11/120x120-HMFH-Blog-Badge.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/2011/11/170x200-HMFH-Blog-Badge.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/2011/11/700x100-HMFH-Blog-Badge.jpg" height="100" width="700"></a>

join the conversation.

We encourage you to comment on this blog. All viewpoints are welcome, but please be constructive. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding submitted comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. The comments are moderated, so you may have to be a tiny bit patient in waiting to see them. We will review and post them as promptly as possible during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 5:00). Please read our full comment policy.

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  1. I’m a Red Cross volunteer in the Southern CA and I told my department about it and they are interested to participate in this great program. I was wondering does corporation involvement get recognized?

  2. My 12 yr old daughter has gotten her school to make cards for the servicemen, but we are not sure were to mail them to and by when. We are in Oklahoma City, OK.

  3. Thank you, I didnot know this site existed and it is such a great thing to do, I would love to participate, I do some work with the USO and similar organizations we can always do something to help those who have given so much for U.S.
    Thank you

  4. I am a single christian who has no family but my son so I thought about what it must be like to be serving our country in this position. I plan on participating in the christmas cards for soldiers but I thought it would be cool to see if maby one of them personally would like a “pin pal” for maby the holidays or whatever.

  5. I work for the Chief Business Office of the Veteran’s Health Administration and my department is interested in sending holiday cards, phone cards and “comfort kits.” We have at least 120 staff members here in our office. I’ve taken note of the address to mail the cards but also noted the restrictions. Can you send me an e-mail that it’s okay to send 120 holiday cards and some of the suggested items in the same envelope to the address listed on your website?

    Please advise.


    Valerie Mullins

  6. Valerie – You can certainly send the cards in one package to the PO Box, but unfortunately the Holiday Mail program can only accept cards and not other items. I would recommend checking with other organizations that do care packages this time of the year. Thanks!

  7. Are these cards being distributed in the United States or overseas? In previous years, you have had this in the rules for sending cards:
    “Please refrain from sending holiday cards with glitter. Many of these cards will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities and the glitter could interfere with a patient’s recovery”
    However, that rule was not included this year. Are you not sending them to the medical facilities any longer?

  8. Also, the guidelines here:
    We encourage participants to mail as many cards as they are comfortable sending. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes or use a flat rate box from the post office.

    But the guidelines above mention a limit. I am trying to write a blog article on the program, but the conflicting information is confusing. Which should I use?

  9. Alicia – the cards will be distributed in the US and at overseas American military bases as well. Thanks for pointing out the glitter rule – it is still valid, but we just accidentally left it off of this post. I will make the correction – thank you!

    The card limit is also an outdated tip – please go by the one that you referenced. I will also make that change on this post. Thanks again!

  10. Quick question: You say not to include personal information such as our home address. Just to clarify, does this mean the envelope as well, with the return address? I just want to make sure I comply with everything. 🙂 Thank you very much for your time, both with responding, and doing this great service.

  11. Hi Amanda and Michelle-
    This is Laura frome the Red Cross PR team…
    We remove all the cards from their envelopes and those are not set to the recipients so a return address on the envelope is just fine.

    Michelle-Christmas cards are certainly welcome. We’re thrilled to have them!

  12. The card service I use automatically prints the addresses on the back of the card. Will this be an issue?

    My networking group is very excited to support the troops this way and I hope we will be able to do this through your program. 🙂

    Thank you in advance for your response.

  13. I challenged my 6th grade son to see which of the two of us could collect the most cards for this project. So far I have collected the most cards, but hands down his are the best. I never dreamed how caring my son could be until I read some of the cards he made. The sentiments he has written truely show just how wonderful of a little boy he is. On one card he drew a picture of a bird on the outside and a picture of a tree on the inside. The words on the outside said “Don’t forget the little things” on the inside it said “or the big things this Christmas” Then we wrote “my little thing is wishing you a Merry Christmas, my big thing is asking Santa to bring you home safe to your family. Merry Christmas, Hero”

    Brings tears to this mother’s eyes.

  14. Great program! Just to double check that I understand, you do not want cards placed in individual envelopes and mailed in, as they will have to be pulled out to review anyways. Do you still want the empty envelopes that match the card size included in the large mailing envelope or flat rate box, or will you provide all envelopes for the cards?

  15. […] Send a Holiday Card to a Soldier- You can send a letter to a solider any time, but the holidays are special. There are so many soldiers who are busy serving our country and for that reason, are not able to see their families for the holidays. Let a soldier know how important they are by sending them a special holiday card- it’ll mean the world to a soldier—especially if they usually don’t get mail. […]





  17. Mary – We encourage people to send non-religious cards because then it is easier to distribute them. However, religious cards will be accepted and will be sorted (to the best of out ability) so that they go to appropriate recipients. Thanks!

  18. […] The children enjoyed making cards for the soldiers for the holidays.  If you would like to do this at home with your children as well, you can find out about it at:  http://redcrosschat.org/2011/11/03/holiday-mail-for-heroes-2011/ […]

  19. […] soldier this Holiday Season is to send a card.  There’s, of course, a program for that.  Holiday Mail for Heroes needs your mail by December 9 to get it in the hands of one of our heroes.  You can click the link, […]

  20. Thank you, soldiers. I pray for all of you. God is with you. The war will end soon as I pray my rosary everyday. God bless you all.

  21. […] that Jesus is “God with us”.  You might also consider sending cards to soldiers (more info here and they must be postmarked by Dec. […]

  22. Stacy – you don’t need to send individual envelopes for the cards – just put them all in a mailing envelope and you’re good to go!

  23. I got the information this year on sending cards to our service heroes and sent almost 100 cards to you. I am now VERY DISAPPOINTED that certain instructions aren’t publicized along with the request for cards. I spent many hours personally addressing, decorating cards and envelopes with holiday stickers and included a photo that I thought would bring a smile to a recovering patient. Now I see that all envelopes and photos will be destroyed! Am not sure why this is done, but will definitely prevent me from participating in this program in the future. I will make sure my future cards are sent directly to the facility and not through this program.

  24. My friends and I are hosting a Christmas party today, Dec 10, and would like to have our guests fill out a card for a solider. Would it still be accepted if we get the cards in the mail tomorrow, or should we look for a local way to get involved?

    Thank you!

  25. Hi Julie – sorry for the late response, but unfortunately we can only accept items sent before the mailbox was closed. Thank you for your interest, however – we hope you will join us next year!

  26. I was just wondering if it would be ok to put my city and state under my name. I feel like it makes it more real, other than just a random name from a random place. (PS – I live in a state capital, so it no worries about being known.)