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Red Cross of Lamar County encourages community to help send holiday cards to our troops

The Red Cross chapter of Lamar County kicked off its inaugural “Holiday Mail for Heroes: Messages from Home” campaign last week, beginning an effort to get the community involved in sending cheerful holiday cards to active-duty soldiers during the coming holiday season.

Female soldiers receiving personnel hygiene items from the Red Cross facilities in Bagdad (Photo by Peter Macias/American Red Cross)
Female soldiers receiving personnel hygiene items from the Red Cross facilities in Bagdad (Photo by Peter Macias/American Red Cross)

The entire community was invited to the free festive event to learn how to get involved in the campaign for our troops.

This is a four-month campaign, in which ‘card-raising’ teams comprised of local citizens receive 50 Red Cross holiday cards that they will encourage friends, family members, acquaintances and anyone they can to sponsor the cards for $20 each. Once they sponsor a card, individuals can then customize it with messages of gratitude and support.

There are many opportunities for corporate sponsors to get involved as well, Red Cross officials said.

This campaign will culminate into a holiday card send-off event at Heritage Hall on November 6, where all the teams and corporate sponsors will gather to acknowledge the work of the teams, while also recognizing a local ‘Community Hero’ and ‘Military Hero’.

All the sponsored cards will then be gathered and shipped to deployed service members and military hospitals in an effort to bring them cheer during their holiday time away from family.

Santa delivers a Christmas gift from the American Red Cross to a wounded soldier during the holidays. (American Red Cross photo)
Santa delivers a Christmas gift from the American Red Cross to a wounded soldier during the holidays. (American Red Cross photo)

“We wondered how we could raise funds to support our work with service members at Camp Maxey and other local military families without trying to pull off another golf tournament or gala or walk,” Red Cross Lamar County executive director, John Davis, said. “With the creative help of a great board and volunteers, I think we’ve conceived a great campaign that will raise both awareness and funds for Red Cross service to the armed forces programs in Lamar County and also generate holiday cards and messages from home to send to deployed service members.”

The campaign committee is chaired by long-time Red Cross Lamar volunteer, Sally Hensley, and Captain Michael Ford of Camp Maxey.

“The campaign has been extremely well received by the community”, said Sheree Williams, Major Gift Associate with Red Cross in Lamar County. “Our local committee has been busy recruiting teams and sponsors and putting this campaign together.”

If you are interested in forming a team, joining the committee, or becoming a corporate sponsor, please visit www.redcross.org/redcrossnortheasttexas or call Sheree Williams at (903) 737-4390.

American soldier poses with a Red Cross 'pet volunteer' at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in southwestern Germany. (American Red Cross photo)
American soldier is visited by a Red Cross ‘pet volunteer’ at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in southwestern Germany. (American Red Cross photo)

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, teaches skills that save lives, provides international humanitarian aid, and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/northeasttexas, Facebook.com/redcrossnetexas or @RedcrossNETexas on Twitter.

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