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Holiday Cards Reaching Military Bases, Hospitals Around the World.

Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Deliver 'A Touch of Home' to Service Members, Veterans

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of thousands of holiday cards are beginning to arrive at military bases and hospitals around the world, as American Red Cross workers deliver the handiwork and heartfelt wishes collected through this year's Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

At Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, Pruett DeLoach read aloud the cards delivered to his son, Blake DeLoach, who was blinded in Afghanistan during his third tour of duty with the Army.

"It may seem odd, but it makes this service member feel better," Blake DeLoach said. "It gives us something to look forward to. Once we're healed, not only do we prove a point to ourselves, but to everyone who sent their support: 'We did it!'"

The holiday mail campaign, which enables the public to "send a touch of home" to U.S. service members and veterans across the country and abroad, was led for the fourth year by the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes Inc. During the first three years of the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign, three million cards reached veterans, military families and active-duty service members in military hospitals and at installations around the world. This year, Pitney Bowes provided screening, packaging and shipping at no charge to deliver cards to more than 200 Red Cross locations overseas and stateside for distribution.

The Red Cross regional office in South Central New York, for example, received almost 4,000 holiday cards, which will go to the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Bath, N.Y., and to veterans in a nursing home in Corning, according to Linda Conway, director of Red Cross emergency services for the region.

"A lot of the veterans at the hospital don't have family, and it means so much for them to get these cards," Conway said. "They're so appreciative. It's been phenomenal."

At Walter Reed, Blake DeLoach shared his appreciation with everyone who participated in Holiday Mail for Heroes:

"Thanks for your support," he said. "Every little bit helps. Every time someone says, 'get better, get well,' you get that little extra boost. I couldn't be more thankful."

The public can also support military members, veterans and their families this year with cards designed by members of the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet. The cards, which can be inscribed with a personal message, are available online for a $25 donation through December 22.

Note to Media:

Broadcast-quality B-roll and a pre-produced package of the mail delivery at Walter Reed is available at this link.

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 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(TM). www.pb.com

SOURCE American Red Cross
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 21, 2010
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