Holiday Mail for Soldiers

by LukeAmerica2020
The American Red Cross is partnering with Pitney Bowes this holiday season for the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. For the second year in a row, they’re collecting holiday cards to distribute to American service members, veterans, and their families in the United States and around the world. Pitney Bowes is generously donating technology, resources, and postage to make this holiday card program possible.

Their goal is to collect and distribute one million holiday cards to spread holiday cheer and facilitate thanks to these brave individuals and families.

Please send cards to this address, following the guidelines listed below:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Card Guidelines …
Please follow these guidelines when mailing a card to ensure that your card will quickly reach service members, veterans, and their families. Every card received will first be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working in one of 16 sorting stations around the country.

  •   → All cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Cards sent after this date will be returned to sender.
  •   → Participants are encouraged to limit the number of cards they submit to 25 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If you are mailing a larger quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope or postage.
  •   → Please ensure that all cards are signed.
  •   → Please use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
  •   → Please send cards as opposed to long letters which delay a quick review process.
  •   → Please do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  •   → Please do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
  •   → All cards received may be used in program publicity efforts, including appearing in broadcast, print or online mediums.

Other Cards for Recovering Soldiers …
Last year a false email was propagated to many thousands of people about sending cards to “A Recovering Soldier” at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They have started again year. You may receive an email stating the following:

When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

According to, sometimes a great-sounding idea proves to be far less of a brainstorm once considered from all angles. That is indeed the case with the October 2007 open-hearted entreaty to add “A Recovering American Soldier” to your Christmas card list. While no one can fault the sentiment behind the suggestion (not only to remember the less fortunate during the holiday season but to make a special effort to reach out to those who have been wounded in the service of their country), the plan falters on one cruel yet central reality — in these times of heightened security, mail from strangers to unnamed soldiers must, for everyone’s safety, be discarded unopened.

The U.S. Postal Service will not accept mail addressed to “Any Soldier,” “Any Wounded Soldier,” or the like because if it did, it could be providing a conduit for those who might do harm to armed services members. Such offerings are either returned to sender (if a return address has been provided or if one is found within the package) or donated to charities (if no address for the sender is found). Similarly, military hospitals will not accept letters, cards, or packages addressed in such manner for the same reason. Such good deeds, no matter how kindly meant, are not permitted to reach the soldiers they were intended for.

Instead, those wishing to send holiday cards to our military heroes should use the Red Cross option discussed at the top of this post.


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2 Responses to Holiday Mail for Soldiers

  1. Tracey says:

    On behalf of my colleagues at the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes, I’d like to thank you for your support of the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. I personally worked on this campaign and I want to express my appreciation for your help spreading the word.

    You mentioned that our goal was to collect 1 million cards for American troops. I’m happy to announce that we’ve tallied all the cards and have successfully surpassed our goal! We could not have done this without your help!

    The Holiday Mail team put together a video to thank bloggers like you who made this possible. You can view it here:

    Thanks again for your support!

  2. Karl Irle says:

    Nice to find interesting and informative articles amongst the dross.

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