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Red Cross program helps spread holiday cheer to vets
shilling signs holiday mail for heroes card
State Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) signs a holiday card for the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign to thank state veterans and service members around the world. - photo by Contributed/Tony Palese

Being apart from friends and family over the holidays is never easy. The American Red Cross “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program is the perfect opportunity for individuals to send thanks and season’s greetings to Wisconsin veterans and service members deployed across the world.

Continuing a bipartisan tradition, state Sen. Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) has joined legislative colleagues to support this program and write notes of support to Wisconsin military families.
“We should always take time to remember and honor our service members and veterans for their years of dedication and sacrifice,” said Shilling. “This is a great opportunity for local families to support Wisconsin service members who are away from home this holiday season.”

The Red Cross created this program to encourage neighbor to neighbor outreach during the holiday season. It is not necessary to know anyone in the military to participate. The Red Cross has also provided these guidelines for sending cards to service members:

• Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.

• Ensure that all cards are signed.

• Only cards are being accepted. Do not send letters.

• Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.

• Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
• Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter, as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured soldiers.

• If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from cards before distribution.

The program is for the delivery of holiday cards only. Those wishing to donate items such as phone cards or military comfort kits should go to the Help Our Troops section of the Red Cross online catalogue. Cards can be dropped off at the Red Cross office located at 2927 Losey Blvd. South, La Crosse, WI 54601.

For more information, visit and click on the “Get Involved” link.