5 WAYS TO REMEMBER MILITARY MEMBERS DEPLOYED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
It is so important that while we are enjoying our families this holiday season that we remember those that cannot be home for the holidays with family. If you have a deployed service member, know someone deployed, or don't know anyone deployed but just want to show your support this holiday season MB has come up with 5 suggestions to put a smile on a service member's face.
(1) Holiday Mail For Heroes Program: The Red Cross offers a great way to reach out to military members overseas and show your support during the holiday season through the Holiday Mail For Heroes Program. The program recently changed for the 2014 holiday season. Below is the Program Overview, ways you can help, and send a card to military members deployed during the holiday season.
With many service members and veterans separated from their families this holiday season due to deployments and hospital stays, the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes (HMFH) program empowers people to “Give Something That Means Something” by sending a card of thanks and support to the members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.
Beginning in 2014, the program will take on a different look, as Red Cross chapters across the continental U.S. and Red Cross offices on military installations overseas will take complete control of the program. There will no longer be a national Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box to which cards are sent.
Moving forward, local Red Cross offices will collect, sort, and distributing the holiday cards using an events-based approach in their local communities. Local Red Cross offices will:
1. Hold events to sign or make holiday cards
2. Schedule card-sorting times.
3. Coordinate card delivery to the military, vets and families in their communities.
These changes will allow local Red Cross offices to better concentrate on reaching out to the members of the military, veterans and families in their community—neighbors helping neighbors.
Contact your local Red Cross chapter directly to find out if they are participating. If they are not, you have two options:
- Ask your local Red Cross office for military and veterans organizations in your community where you can send your cards directly.
- Check the participating chapters tab for updated information regarding the closest Red Cross chapter in your area participating in Holiday Mail for Heroes.
Click Here to find out more information about the Mail For Heroes Program.
(2) SEND A CARE PACKAGE: Blue Star Families has a great guide on their Blog full of fantastic holiday gift ideas to send overseas for your favorite service member. Holiday Gift Guide for Deployed Service Members
(3) USO PHOTO BOOK: Now friends and family can create a 20-page personal photo book and ship it to any APO, FPO, or MPO address for free. These full-color, 5x7 softcover books fit perfectly in a soldier’s cargo pocket, yet hold over 60 photos. RocketLife prints the books for free, and the USO pays for shipping, how awesome! To learn more and get started on creating your FREE photo book click here!
(4) Daddy and Mommy Dolls (for military children with a deployed parent): This is one of my favorites! Daddy and Mommy dolls help children cope with Mommy or Daddy being on deployement. These dolls offer military children something to cuddle and sleep with bringing a lot of comfort. Click Here to learn more!
(5) USO HOLIDAY BOXES: The newest USO program bundles fun items that help servicemen and women celebrate holidays and occasions in remote locations that do not have access to traditional USO centers. Decorations to brighten encampments in the spirit of the specific season are just the start to a package that supplies 50 troops and truly gives soldiers a sense of home. Each box also has edible treats, banners, greeting cards and a connection home like a video camera and DVDs to send messages home.
From scary movies for Halloween to tasty treats for the winter holidays, these deliveries work off of recommendations from troops in the field. There are four separate boxes: Valentine’s Day/Football; Memorial Day/Summer/Fourth of July; Halloween/Thanksgiving and Winter (with Christmas and Hanukah add-ons). See a sampling of the contents of each USO Holiday Box.
To request this program or to learn more information, please contact a USO representative.
Wrap up good tidings for the troops
Your tax-deductible donation can provide USO Holiday Boxes so that troops can fill their tents and living quarters with elements of home.
** Also Check out HEROBOX HeroBox is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports deployed, injured, aging and homeless veterans. Their Mission: "Our mission is to ensure that every American hero receives the physical and moral support they deserve". You can Sponsor A HeroBox and SUPPORT OUR HEROES With a Custom Care Package.
USPS recommended shipping deadlines for those special packages of holiday joy to our service members.