During the holidays at a local veteran’s hospital, the father of an injured soldier read Red Cross holiday cards to his son. With a smile on his face, Spc. Blake DeLooach said it made him feel whole knowing people care about him. The injured soldier spent the holidays in the hospital and thankfully, was able to have his father with him. The cards he received from the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign made the difficult season much brighter for DeLooach and his family.
For most of us, the holidays are a time for joyous family reunions and celebration. However, for military families, it can be hard to celebrate when loved ones are so far from home. During this holiday season, many service members can’t spend it will loved ones; they are will be overseas and others may be in local veteran hospitals.
As part of the American Red Cross service to armed forces, the St. Louis chapter is once again encouraging the local community to send holiday wishes to active military, their families and veterans in homes and hospitals. The Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign and Holiday Toy Drive are two great ways to show support and bring comfort to military members this holiday season.
This Holiday Mail campaign gives organizations, companies, schools and individuals an opportunity to honor our servicemen and women by sending cards. Homemade and signed cards can be sent to the Red Cross and events can be orchestrated where cards are made and signed.
Delooach’s father said the American Red Cross provides so much help military and until something like this happens, you just don’t know all that they do. He said, “They are a magnificent help to all of the soldiers and their families.” Something as simple as a holiday card brings more meaning to military members and veterans than most people know.
In addition to the Holiday Mail campaign, the St. Louis chapter will once again be partnering with the St. Louis Cardinals and KMOV for the annual Holiday Toy Drive to benefit local military families. This year’s drive will take place on November 30 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ballpark Village parking lot, at the corner of 8th and Clark in Downtown St. Louis. Volunteers from each organization will collect new, unwrapped toys for kids under 12 and gift cards for kids over 13.
Our military families deserve our thanks and support every day,” said Cindy Erickson, Regional American Red Cross CEO. “We are happy to have this opportunity to show our appreciation for the daily sacrifices they make.”
Part of the Red Cross mission is to ensure that all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed. In order to achieve this mission, many local chapters throughout the nation will be working hard this year to provide comfort to military men, women, and families during the holiday season. There is no better time to show support for our troops and let them know they are cared for and appreciated.