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Holiday Cards Distributed to Local Veterans and Service Members

Updated: November 16, 2018 11:01 PM

It’s always important to let service members and veterans know how thankful we are for their service. The American Red Cross Northland Chapter is making sure the local heroes feel that for the upcoming holidays.

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The local Red Cross has been collecting holiday cards from people in the area for the Holiday Mail for Heroes effort. The holiday cards are made by community members and get sent to local military members. 

So far, about 17,000 holiday cards have been collected. They will be distributed to close to 5,000 local veterans and service members across the Northland. They’ll be sent to local guard units, local veterans clinics and nursing homes.

Volunteers were sorting the cards and bundling them to get sent out Friday. The cards come from a variety of local schools, community members, and organizations like Essentia Health, UW-Superior, UMD, Bent Paddle, and more.

The Northland Chapter of the Red Cross took over the holiday mail program locally about four years ago and ever since they've distributed over 60,000 holiday cards.

The effort is described as a special and personal way for the community to thank military members and get involved in a great cause.

"It's a great program for people to participate in because it helps them exercise the muscle of appreciation of our service members and veterans. We don't always have an opportunity to say or show our appreciation of service members and veterans,” Dan Williams, the executive director for the American Red Cross Northland Chapter, said.

The Red Cross Northland Chapter is always looking for more organizations to get involved in the effort. They provide materials and coaching for groups to organize a Holiday Mail for Heroes card writing project. They’re also looking for volunteers to help in the sorting and bundling of the thousands of holidays cards.

If you plan on writing a holiday card, the American Red Cross offers writing guidelines. They encourage people to write cards with substance, with personal connections to service members and veterans. Some examples include writing things you look forward to during the holidays, a special memory, or your connection to those serving the country.

Write the letter to a wide audience using generic titles like "Dear Service Member" or "Dear Veteran."

Avoid writing personal information such as your address, phone number, and full name in the holiday card. Avoid talking about topics like battle wounds and weapons. Also avoid carrying an overly religious theme in the letter. 

If you want to get involved or help volunteer, call the Red Cross Northland Chapter at 218-722-0071.

You can drop off or send the letter to:

American Red Cross Serving Northern Minnesota

2524 Maple Grove Rd

Duluth, MN, 55811

Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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