Honoring Our Veterans

Image Courtesy of Social Vibe

Friday, November 11th is Veterans Day. This annual and federal holiday in the United States (Armistice Day or Remembrance Day are celebrated on the same day in other parts of the world) honors those who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces.

An important holiday worldwide, Veterans Day is especially significant throughout the Red Cross because of the organization’s ties, through the Services to Armed Forces (SAF) program, to the United States Military.

– The Red Cross provides pre-deployment briefings on the support systems and resources available to service members and their families while service members are away.

– The Red Cross provides – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – a lifeline between service members and their families by verifying and transmitting emergency messages.

– Additionally, the Red Cross provides military families with access to financial assistance in partnership with military aid organizations as well as referral information and assistance to veterans.

So this Friday, take a few moments to thank those who have bravely and generously served our country through membership in the Armed Forces.

 – Post a thank you message on Facebook or tweet a thank you message on Twitter.

– Participate in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program by making a
holiday card for a service member, veteran, or military family. (Click here <http://www.redcross.org/holidaymail>  for more information about the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.)

 – Donate blood at one of the hundreds of Veterans Day blood drives
going on throughout the country. (Click here <http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation>  to find a Veterans Day blood drive in your area.)

– Donate a monetary gift, in honor a service member, veteran, or military family, through the Red Cross Holiday Giving catalog. Even a small amount ($50 = 1 military comfort kit, $20 = 1 military phone card, and $30 = hygiene kids for 3 homeless veterans) can make a tremendous different in the life of an active duty service member or veteran. (Click here https://american.redcross.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=gc11_index&s_src=RSS11100ERCG to shop the Red Cross Holiday Giving catalog.)

My sincerest thanks to all of our veterans, and happy Veterans Day.

Local Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Encourage Public to Thank American Service Members though Holiday Mail for Heroes Program

Holiday Wishes Deliver “A Touch of Home” to U.S. Military Members, Veterans and Families

For a fifth year, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc. are teaming up to deliver holiday cheer and greetings to service members, their families and veterans throughout the holiday season.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides Americans the opportunity to send holiday greetings to our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, many of whom will be far from home over the holidays, our nation’s veterans and their families.

Between now and December 9, the public is invited to send a “touch of home” through holiday cards that contain messages of cheer and appreciation. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen cards for hazardous materials, sort and package the cards, and deliver them to military bases and hospitals, veteran’s hospitals and other locations during the holidays.  Pitney Bowes is donating all screening, packaging and shipping to the cause.  The Red Cross will mobilize hundreds of volunteers to sort and box cards for delivery to service men and women, veterans and family members in November and December.   

“All you need is a pen and piece of paper to share your appreciation of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make each day in their service to our country,” said John Kost, the Services to Armed Forces program manager.  “The American Red Cross serves and supports members of the military, veterans, and their families by providing emergency communications, educational resources, comfort and assistance each day. The Holiday Mail for Heroes program continues in the Red Cross tradition of service to those who serve.”

Throughout the state, groups are invited to make holiday cards. If attending the World Champion Green Bay Packers Blood Drive on November 8, 2011 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Legends Club Room at Lambeau Field. We will have preprinted holiday cards, donated by Miles Kimball’s, to sign. Not only can you give the gift of life with a blood donation, you can send a holiday message to a service member.

Additional early commitments to make cards and host events include the UW-Green Bay Red Cross Club, elementary schools and the Pitney Bowes office in Neenah is hosting an employee card signing event. This is the second year Miles Kimball’s, based in Oshkosh, has supported the program with 2,500 and 5,000 cards donated respectively.

Last year, with the help of Pitney Bowes, hundreds of volunteers screened, sorted and packaged cards that were delivered to military bases, veteran and military hospitals across the U.S. and around the world. Locally, thousands of cards were presented to Veterans living in the area, at the King VA Facility in Waupaca, WI and the Oscar G. Johnson VA Hospital and Clinics in Iron Mountain, Michigan.  Plans are being made for additional outreach this December.

“Sending a card is a simple way to show our gratitude for the tremendous sacrifice that our military personnel and their families make every single day on the nation’s behalf,” said Kevin Connolly, Vice President and General Manager of North American Service Delivery, Pitney Bowes Management Services and Vice President, Strategic Transformation for Pitney Bowes. “The holiday season is a perfect time for all Americans to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you.’ We are pleased to join forces with the Red Cross for the fifth year to help make that happen.”

All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes

P.O. Box 5456

Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Cards must be postmarked no later than December 9; cards received after this date will be returned to senders.  For reasons of processing and safety, participants are asked to refrain from sending “care packages,” monetary gifts, using glitter or including any inserts with the cards.

Visit redcross.org/holidaymail for a full list of recommended guidelines and best practices for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

Additional ways to become involved with the campaign include connecting with fellow card senders through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/redcross and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/redcross using the hashtag #holidaymail.

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 more than 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.

Join the World Champion Green Bay Packers and Be a Champion to Patients in Need!

The  World Champion Green Bay Packers are teaming up with the American Red Cross to support hospital patients in Wisconsin and across the country. The Packers are encouraging their fans to roll up their sleeves for the second time this year at the World Champion Green Bay Packers Blood Drive on November 8.

“We are very honored and excited to team up with the Green Bay Packers again heading into the holiday season, typically a challenging time to reach blood donors,” said Greg Novinska, CEO of the local American Red Cross Blood Services Region. “Community members can look forward to sharing the team’s success while helping meet the constant need for blood.”

World Champion Green Bay Packers Blood Drive

Tuesday, November 8 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lambeau Field, Legends Club Level

All presenting donors will receive a special giveaway item and will be automatically entered to win Packers merchandise. The Red Cross hopes to welcome more than 250 blood donors throughout the day. Currently, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as they are coming in. All blood types are needed now to help maintain a sufficient supply for hospital patients.

Not only can you give the gift of life with a blood donation, you can also send a holiday message to a service member. Those attending the World Champion Green Bay Packers Blood Drive will have the opportunity to sign preprinted holiday cards, donated by Miles Kimball’s, through the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Holiday Mail for Heroes gives Americans the opportunity to send holiday greetings to our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, many of whom will be far from home over the holidays, our nation’s veterans and their families.  To learn more about the program, visit redcross.org/holidaymail.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

Holiday Joy To Veterans & Military Families Delivered

Local American Red Cross volunteers deliver holiday greetings through the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program to area VA Hospitals

Red Cross Volunteers Bev Schuelke, Janet Herter, Cliff Schuelke, and Sandy Hofler showing some of the holiday cards being handed out to the Veterans in King, WI. Photo By: Barbara Behling, American Red Cross

Holiday greetings made for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program were delivered to Veterans at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, Wisconsin today and at the Oscar G. Johnson facilities, in Iron Mountain, Michigan over the weekend. The King facilities are home to 675 former military service members, and the Veterans Assistance Program also houses 30 men and women.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides Americans with the opportunity to send holiday greetings and a note of thanks to our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. Each year the Red Cross provides assistance to over two million service members and many of the nation’s 24 million veterans. At the core of the Service to the Armed Forces mission is the commitment to support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe.

Many community groups and schools throughout the region participated in this year’s program with more than 12,000 cards were created and signed with heart-warming messages. A special thank you is extended to the following groups who participated:

  • Franklin Elementary, Oshkosh
  • Shapiro Elementary, Oshkosh
  • Smith Elementary, Oshkosh
  • Johnston Elementary 3rd grade class, Appleton
  • Lincoln Elementary 3rd grade class, Appleton
  • Janet Berry Elementary 3rd grade class, Appleton
  • Appleton Christian School 1st grade class, Appleton
  • Little Chute Elementary 1st and 4th grade classes
  • Woodland Elementary 3rd Grade class, Kimberly
  • Park Elementary 1st through 4th grade classes, Kaukauna
  • 3rd Grade Religious Education class of Holy Family Parish, Fond du Lac
  • Maplewood Middle School, Menasha
  • Florence High School, Florence, WI
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Gymnastics Team
  • University of Wisconsin Green Bay students
  • UW Green Bay Red Cross Club
  • UW Oshkosh Red Cross Club
  • Valley Visiting Nurse Association, Neenah
  • First Congregational Church, Oshkosh
  • Faith United Methodist Church, Neenah
  • Many Boy and Girl Scout Troops throughout the area

 A special thank you goes to Miles Kimball in Oshkosh for donating 2,500 cards which were signed at local events in area malls, at craft shows and at area businesses.

 In addition, Pitney Bowes in Neenah collected & shipped more than 8,600 cards, which more than doubled their goal of 4,000 cards. The holiday cards will be distributed throughout the nation and to those serving overseas.

 About the Northeast Wisconsin Region: The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of four chapters serving 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters throughout the East Central Wisconsin, Lakeland, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NewRedCross.org

 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.

 

Students at Maplewood Middle School particpate in Holiday Mail for Heroes Campaign

The students at Maplewood Middle School, in Menasha, collected and wrote over 369 holiday greeting cards to the men and women serving in the military as part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes Campaign. They worked with the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes campaign to send holiday greetings to those military members who cannot come home for the holidays. 

Paul Fruit and Nick Cluppert, Red Cross Staff with some of the students who made cards.

Kayleigh Kaminski and Kaylee Kuhn are seen handing over the greeting cards to Nick Cluppert and Paul Fruit, from the Red Cross.

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” – James Allen

By Guest Blogger: Doug Harvey, Communications Intern, American Red Cross

James Allen once said, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”  This past Saturday students from UW-Green Bay as well as myself had opportunity to put this thought into action.  The UWGB Red Cross Club (RCC) teamed up with GB Nites to help promote the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign.

UWGB Red Cross Club members making cards and banner at our monthly meeting.

Holiday Mail for Heroes is program set up to help people send thanks to our American service members, their families, and veterans all over the world, by sending them cards during the holiday season.  GB Nites is an event that takes place in the Student Union with fun and free events for the students.  With things such as free henna tattoos, a black light dance party, and my personal favorite, free ice cream, GB Nites was a perfect atmosphere to get the word out about this program.

Myself, with the help of Kristie Walker (treasurer of the RCC on campus), got there a little early to help set up tables and supplies (markers, crayons, paper etc.).  Luckily, the RCC had made a banner during our meeting a few days before, so students could see where we were located and why we were there.

The students responded really well to event.  Lots of students came to help support our campaign. Almost every student that stopped by knew or knew of someone in the Armed Services and I could tell that they were really putting themselves into the cards they made.

Overall I had a good time, and it was a great experience for me.  Not only the setting up of the event, but seeing that college kids really do want to make a difference.  I certainly look forward our next RCC event.

For more information on the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes Program click HERE.

UWGB students making cards for our service members.

American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter and Pitney Bowes Invite Public to Send a “Touch of Home” to Service Members, Veterans and Family Members this Holiday Season

“Holiday Mail for Heroes” to Deliver Greetings to U.S. Military Members and Veterans

For a fourth year, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc. are teaming up to deliver holiday cards to service members, their families and veterans, many of whom will be far from home this holiday season.  The Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides Americans with the opportunity to send holiday greetings and a note of thanks to our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Between September 7 and December 10, the public is invited to send a “touch of home” through holiday cards that contain messages of cheer and appreciation.  The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen cards for hazardous materials, sort and package the cards, and deliver them to military bases and hospitals, veteran’s hospitals and other locations during the holidays.  Pitney Bowes is providing all screening, packaging and shipping at no charge.  The Red Cross will utilize hundreds of volunteers to sort and box cards for delivery to service men and women, veterans and family members in November and December.   

“Sending a greeting card is a small effort that makes a big impact for our American heroes during the holiday season,” said Jody Weyers, volunteer and communications director, Lakeland Chapter.  “The American Red Cross serves and supports members of the military, veterans, and their families by providing emergency communications, comfort and assistance each day. The Holiday Mail for Heroes program continues the Red Cross tradition of service to the armed forces.” 

Hear first hand from Lauren Dunn on how important our Services to Armed Forces is in keeping connected with her loved one.

Last year, with the help of Pitney Bowes, hundreds of volunteers screened, sorted and packaged cards that were delivered to military bases, veteran and military hospitals across the U.S. and around the world.

“Few can truly understand the tremendous sacrifice that our military personnel and their families make every single day on the nation’s behalf,” said Vicki O’Meara, senior vice president and president of Pitney Bowes Management Services and government & regulatory affairs. “Now more than ever, it is important for all Americans to seize the opportunity to say ‘thank you.’ We are thrilled to join with the American Red Cross to help make that happen.”

Locally we are supporting the program by introducing it to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The UWGB Red Cross Club is partnering with the Student Life UWGB Nites event on Saturday, November 6, 10:00pm-1:00am on campus. “With the help of faculty and students we are spreading the word about the Holiday Mail program and we are hoping to have over 300 cards made by students at this event,” said Kristie Walker, UWGB Red Cross club member. “This is a great way to engage the community’s youth in helping support our Armed Services.”

Additional ways to become involved with the campaign include connecting with fellow card senders through Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/redcross and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/redcross using the hashtag #holidaymail.

Visit redcross.org to learn more about our Services to Armed Forces.

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.

 About Pitney Bowes: Celebrating its 90th year 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. Pitney Bowes is a $5.6 billion company and employs 33,000 worldwide. Pitney Bowes: Every connection is a new opportunity™. www.pb.com

 

 

 

Veterans Day November 11th – Honoring Our Service Men and Women

Veterans Day is a time to reflect and honor those who have served and are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. The Red Cross has a long-standing history of supporting service men and women and their families. Whether it be helping a family transition to a loved one’s deployment or welcoming home wounded service men and women, the Red Cross is there!

Also, during this time of year, the American Red Cross coordinates Holiday Mail for Heroes – sending cards of thanks and well wishes to our service men and women who are unable to be home during the holidays. Join us in honoring those who serve our United States Armed Forces.

 

Check out the following links for area Veterans Day Celebrations and to learn more about the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes.

 

Send a Touch of Home to Those Who Serve Our Country

 

Send a touch of home to the real heroes of America and their families! Holiday Mail for Heroes is back again!

For the third year in a row, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are working together to collect, sort and distribute holiday cards to service members, veterans and their families.

The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will begin accepting cards on November 2, 2009. So get your pens and postage stamps ready and watch for the address in the coming weeks on RedCross.org.

All cards must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 7, 2009. Cards postmarked after December 7 will be returned to the sender. This deadline ensures enough time to sort and distribute cards before the holidays.

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.

If you would like to begin working on your cards now, here are some quick guidelines to ensure your cards makes to a hero as quickly as possible:

Do…

  • Ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Make cards more meaningful to a wide variety of recipients by using “Dear Service Member, Family or Veteran” rather than any more specific language. You are encouraged to send holiday-neutral cards rather than religious-themed cards. Note: Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
  • Limit the number of cards to 15 from any one person or 50 from any one school class, business or group. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

Do not…

  • Send letters. Only cards are being accepted.
  • Include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Include cards with excessive amounts of glitter. Because cards may be received by wounded service members and veterans in hospitals, large quantities of glitter could aggravate existing health problems.
  • Include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing