Anyhoo, if you've been reading this corner of the interwebs for long, you probably know by now that I am a firm believer in supporting our troops through tangible means. I have a bumper sticker too, y'all, but talk is often like farts. Can be entertaining, but all you're really left with is a bit of relief and a general stench. Put those words into action! (No, I will not make any poo references. Wait, what the hell am I talking about? Oh yeah, holiday love for our protectors!)
I am a volunteer with Adopt a Platoon, sending weekly letters and monthly care packages to soldiers serving in Afghanistan. (You can support them in any number of ways: penpal only, an entire platoon, single dude, etc.) If you're looking for a wee volunteer project, Adopt a Platoon has a Christmas Stocking Campaign for troops currently deployed. Check out the link and send a little love to soldiers who must be away from their beloveds this year.
If funds are tight or you're looking for another way to show some love, the Red Cross hosts a Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. Holiday cards are sent to service members and their families across the globe, including those heroes who are hospitalized. There are several hoaxes (well intentioned but poorly informed folks passing incorrect info along) out there about sending mail to "any soldier" at hospitals. Due to the nature of their jobs and folks who want to cause further harm, those letters are tossed. So, make sure you check out any programs other than this Red Cross gem so that you don't waste time and postage.
I hope you'll join me in sending some love to the men and women who stand between us and harm. It's the least we can do, eh?
Details from the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes link above:
Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country. Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:
- 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 or include letters.
- Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
- Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
- Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
- If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is Friday, December 7th.
Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.