Americans Send 1.2 Million Cards to Military, Families and Vets through Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes Program

WASHINGTON, January 11, 2012 —The 2011 American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program received approximately 1.2 million cards from the public, which were then distributed to military members, veterans and their families around the world.
 
The outpouring of cards in 2011 was one of the largest in the five years of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program, which is supported by Pitney Bowes. Since the program’s inception in 2007, the public has sent more than 4.7 million cards to military members, veterans and their families through the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.
 
From October 3 until December 9, 2011, thousands of people sent holiday cards to a special post office box, and for the first time in the 2011 program, were able to go online to send a specially designed real card to the troops with their personal greeting. Pitney Bowes and the Red Cross screened all the cards for hazardous materials, sorted and packaged the cards, and delivered them to hospitals and military installations around the world, including in Afghanistan, Germany, Japan and Kuwait.
 
"It's clear the American public really stepped up to remember our troops this year, sending in more than a million cards for those serving to protect America stationed around the world,” said Kevin Connolly, Vice President of Strategic Transformation, Pitney Bowes. “The response was beyond our expectations. We want to thank the thousands of people who took the time to stop and do so. They can be assured it helped make the holidays a little brighter for those soldiers who receive them," he added.
 
In addition, generous donors raised nearly $4,000 for the Red Cross thanks to the new online option from Pitney Bowes.
 
During the 2011 Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign, cards poured in from school children, office workers, civic organizations, church groups, college sororities, Scout troops, members of Congress and other elected officials, and tens of thousands of individual Americans from all 50 states and beyond.
 
Pennsylvania's first lady, Mrs. Susan Corbett, invited the Holiday Mail for Heroes program to be an integral part of the holiday tours of the governor's residence, an annual tradition. Nearly 1,000 cards were signed by visitors to the residence during the tours in early December. Corbett also joined Red Cross representatives to distribute cards from the Holiday Mail For Heroes program to veterans at the Lebanon, Pa., VA Hospital.
 
At Osan Air Base in Korea, members of the 51st Fighter Wing volunteered their time to help Red Cross staff sort thousands of cards they received at the base in late November. The Red Cross also partnered with the Cookie Crunch organization to distribute cards along with cookies to the base’s airmen.
 
On Christmas Eve, Evelyn Honea, spouse of the Command Master Chief for the USS New Orleans, delivered 1,000 cards to the USS New Orleans in Singapore to distribute to all of the sailors on board. After the cards were delivered, the ship’s chaplain commented, “A small act of kindness has a powerful ripple effect when you are forward deployed. It helps us remember that deployment is temporary. It reminds us there are people waiting for us at home and others supporting us until we return. Trust me, a moment of peace like that goes a long way toward recharging our spirits.”

About Pitney Bowes:

Delivering more than 90 years of innovation, Pitney Bowes provides software, hardware and services that integrate physical and digital communications channels. Long known for making its customers more productive, Pitney Bowes is increasingly helping other companies grow their business through advanced customer communications management. Pitney Bowes is a $5.4 billion company and employs 30,000 worldwide. Pitney Bowes: Every connection is a new opportunity™. www.pb.com

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.