CHICAGO, IL (KFVS/AP) - The director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is encouraging people to send holiday cards expressing their support to U.S. service members.
Director Erica Borggren, herself an Iraq war veteran, says it means a lot to a service member to receive a holiday card.
Gov. Pat Quinn will personally deliver cards written by Illinois residents when he visits service members at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and military hospitals in Illinois.
Landstuhl is the largest American hospital outside the United States.
For information on how to participate in the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive, visit OperationHomefront.org.
Here are the card guidelines according to the Illinois House:
Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:
- Ensure that all cards are signed.
- Use generic salutations such as "Dear Service Member." Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
- Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
- Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
- Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: 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 warriors.
- 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 all cards before distribution.
All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
All cards must be received by December 7 to guarantee delivery.
Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.