Thursday, February 02, 2023

Holiday cards sought for soldiers

by Alecia Warren
| November 16, 2010 8:00 PM

When loneliness sets in, nothing cheers like a holiday card.

At least, that's what the Red Cross is banking on.

The nonprofit is asking Idaho residents to mail in holiday cards for the American Red Cross to distribute to Idaho soldiers and their families this winter.

"I think it means a lot to them that they have the support and recognition," said Peggy Cedros, district manager for the Red Cross.

The card drive is part of the fourth annual Holiday Mail for Heroes effort the Red Cross is conducting nationwide. Folks have until Dec. 10 to send cards with messages of appreciation and holiday greetings, which will be sorted and screened at the agency's national headquarters and then mailed to military bases and hospitals, as well as veterans' hospitals.

Last year, the state of Idaho sent out 2,000 cards, said Jodie Andrew, Red Cross director of emergency services. This year she's hoping for 2,500.

"They need to know we're thinking of them. They need a touch of home," Andrew said. "The least we can do is show we appreciate what they're doing."

Recipients will include soldiers stationed abroad, soldiers' families and soldiers not yet deployed.

Participants are encouraged to send multiple cards.

"I think any support or recognition they get is nothing but positive," Cedros said.

It's not the only shot to send a personal message. The North Idaho District of the Great Idaho Chapter of Red Cross is also inviting the public to sign any of the 100 holiday cards made by the Hayden 4th Ward LDS Young Women. Signings are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 3, at the district office at 411 W. Haycraft Ave., Suite D2, in Coeur d'Alene.

People can mail their own cards to Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box. 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.

For processing and safety reasons, participants are asked not to send care packages, monetary gifts or use glitter or inserts with the cards.

Limit cards to 15 per person, or 50 for school class or business group, with groups of cards bundled in a single, large envelope.

Software and hardware company Pitney Bowes is pairing with the Red Cross on the program.

Andrew predicted that Idaho members of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team just deployed to Iraq will be grateful to receive some cards.

"Think about how you would feel if you or your loved one was far from home for the holidays," Andrew said. "Every little touch from home is going to warm their hearts."

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