The beginnings of Holiday Mail for Heroes date back to 2010 when a group of Deerfield High School students had the idea to send holiday care packages to troops stationed overseas fighting to protect our freedom. In the months leading up to Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and all our other holidays celebrated this time of year, those students rallied support throughout the community to collect donations and supplies to fill as many care packages as possible. That year the program worked tirelessly to assemble as many care packages as possible to ship overseas and continued to do so for the next several years; eventually sending hundreds of care packages filled with food, snacks, toiletries, and reminders of home to our soldiers. Then, in 2017 we wanted to expand the charitable effort to veterans not overseas, but here in the United States who were not able to celebrate the holidays like the rest of us as they were confined to Veterans Affairs hospitals. That first year, Holiday Mail for Heroes collected over 400 handwritten cards that were given to our veterans at a VA hospital near Chicago. Then last year, in 2018, we brought in volunteers to work as coordinators to expand the program beyond Illinois and into Virginia, Iowa, and Arkansas. We received cards from Deerfield, IL – the local community where all this started. We received cards from students at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. We received cards from students at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. We received cards from a local community of one of our coordinators in Little Rock, AK. By mid-December, with the amazing generosity and efforts of friends, families, classmates, co-workers, and strangers alike, we were able to collect nearly 2,000 handwritten cards to send to our veterans in VA hospitals in Illinois, Virginia, Iowa, and Arkansas.
This year, with over a half-dozen local coordinators already on-board, this year we hope to collect 4,000 handwritten cards to deliver to veterans across the country.
Below are ways that you can get involved and help our veterans this holiday season:
BECOME A LOCAL COORDINATOR
We are always looking to add more local coordinators to hand out and collect more cards to deliver to our veterans. If you are interested in becoming a local coordinator please visit our Contact Us page to get in touch.
Donations are a vital part way for us to reach more veterans this holiday season. Please use the link below to donate:
WRITE A CARD
One of the best ways to show your appreciation for our veterans is to simply write a card to show them you are thinking about them. If you are interested in writing a card (or cards) to be delivered to our veterans this holiday season please use the Contact Us page to get in touch with a coordinator. Alternatively, individual cards can be sent to the following address to be delivered to our veterans:
1254 Dartmouth Lane
Deerfield, IL 60015
SPREAD THE MESSAGE
A great way to reach more veterans is by spreading the message of our organization. This allows us to add more coordinators, work with more VA hospitals, and reach parts of the country we haven't yet before. Use the links below to share our fundraising campaign or our Facebook page.