American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program kicks off
Yumans who wish to send a holiday card to a service member can easily do so with the help of the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
Red Cross volunteers will be at the Target parking lot on Saturday with cards for people to sign for troops and veterans.
"It's really important to show the people fighting for us that we're behind them and we support the sacrifices they make for us, our families and children," said Cynthia Snyder, emergency services specialist with the Red Cross in Yuma.
The cards will be available at two events this Saturday. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Red Cross volunteers will be at the Sears parking lot, 3150 S. 4th Ave., for the store's annual event to promote health and safety awareness.
From 5-9 p.m., the volunteers will be at the Target parking lot, 1450 S. Yuma Palms Parkway, as part of the Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods (GAIN), an event that will celebrate the successes of crime prevention through community involvement.
Through Dec. 6, Americans can express their gratitude and best wishes for the holiday season to those who give the ultimate gift to our country. Service members, veterans and their families will receive cards across the country and around the world.
“It just takes a moment to sign a card to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the military community make,” said Noreen Watts, manager of Service to the Armed Forces, Grand Canyon Chapter. “You say thanks, and we’ll do the rest.”
The public may also send messages of thanks and holiday cheer by mailing them to: Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.
Red Cross volunteers across the United States and on military installations overseas sort and deliver the cards throughout the holiday season.
The agency has received and distributed more than 6.5 million cards for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and their families since the program began in 2006.
To ensure that cards are delivered in time for the holidays, they must be postmarked no later than Dec. 6. Individuals are asked to refrain from sending letters, monetary donations or any other kinds of inserts with the cards and from using glitter.
More information and card requirements can be found at redcross.org/holidaymail.
The Red Cross also invites the public to share photos and videos of their card signing efforts or their holiday greeting for troops by using the hashtag #HolidayMail on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine accounts.
The Red Cross will use the material on its social sites through out the holiday season. The public also can connect with fellow card senders through Facebook.com/redcross and Twitter.com/redcross using the hashtag #holidaymail.
The GAIN event is also an opportunity for participants to build relationships, promote public safety awareness and improve communications with attendees.
Organizers will use the event to solicit and address concerns the community may have. In addition, it's also a day for the community to show their support for the efforts of those involved in the fight against criminal activity.
Most agencies will be handing out freebies and have several pieces of equipment on display. Community members will able to walk through the mobile command center, jump into the Bear Cat, grab a seat in the helicopter and take a close look at some of the firearms the public safety agencies use.
The event will also feature robot and K-9 demonstrations, with the Arizona Department of Corrections showcasing six service dogs.