Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Letter from Heart of Tennessee Executive Director, Mike Cowles - November 2014

As we wind down the year 2014, we must remember that we are very fortunate to have men and women who stand by waiting for the call to protect our freedom at any cost and at their own will.  When military personnel are dispatched, they leave behind a sense of normalcy as well as a family.  This year I encourage you to follow the steps below to show your support of our men, women and their families by participating in the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes.  

Q:  What is the Holiday for Heroes Program?
A:  The Red Cross Holiday for Heroes program enables Americans to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season.  We are inviting the public to send cards of thanks, encouragement and holiday cheer to members of our U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and military families many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season.

Q:  What is the address of the P.O. Box for the program?
A:  We no longer have a national P.O. Box for the program.  Instead, Holiday Mail for Heroes is being conducted at the Red Cross office in your local community.  Check with your local Red Cross office for times and locations for opportunities to get involved.

Q:  Why is the Red Cross changing the format of the program?
A:  We have made this change for several reasons, a reduction in U.S. Armed Forces overseas, particularly in the Middle East and Europe and increased cost of conducting the program.

Q:  Is my local Red Cross Chapter participating in the Holiday for Heroes program?
A:  Yes, the Heart of Tennessee Chapter is participating.  We invite you to stop by our office at 501 Memorial Blvd here in Murfreesboro or visit to find out about opportunities to support this program.

Q:  Cards are not addressed to anyone specific, so who gets these cards?
A:  Participating Red Cross chapters will determine how best to distribute cards to service members, veterans and family members in their local communities, across the nation and around the world.  Cards may be delivered individually, included in care packages or displayed at common venues at military installations and hospitals.

Q:  Can I drop off cards at my local Red Cross office?
A:  Yes, The Heart of Tennessee Chapter office is accepting cards.

Q:  Are there restrictions and guidelines for cards?
A:  In order to make cards as meaningful as possible to a wide audience we recommend that the public use generic titles such as “Dear Service Member, Veteran or Military Family Member “ , when writing the cards.  Cards should not contain glitter because some cards may end up at the bedside of a wounded service member and glitter could aggravate existing health issues.

Q:  Can I include calling and gift cards, money or other items in the cards?
A:  We ask that people NOT enclose any items with the holiday cards.  Any items enclosed with the holiday cards will be removed including photos and other gifts.  If you wish to provide financial support for the Red Cross services to the military to please visit your local chapter.

Once again I want to “Thank You” for what you do for our community and our country and without your support we could not fulfill the mission of helping others.  Please feel free to stop by our office and see where you can find a place amongst the greatest volunteers on earth!


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