Ritchie Invites Public to ‘Send a Touch of Home’ to Overseas Troops

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced she is once again joining with local radio personality Melody Burns to collect donated Christmas cards to be sent to US soldiers serving overseas through the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program sponsored by the American Red Cross.

“Last year, Northern and Central New Yorkers donated 2,200 holiday cards to distribute to our service members at military installations, veterans hospitals and other locations,” Senator Ritchie said. “These cards let them know that we truly appreciate their service and their sacrifice.”

“During the holidays, it’s very important that we remember our nation’s heroes who sacrifice so much to protect our nation and our liberties,” said Burns, who hosts a daily radio show on Talk 1300 AM WGDJ in Albany. “I have been promoting this Holiday Mail for Heroes program on my radio show in Albany. Two years ago I collected 1,000 cards. Last year, we collected 6,000. I am very pleased to again partner with Senator Ritchie to reach families across Northern and Central New York.”

Senator Ritchie will be collecting holiday cards at her offices in Ogdensburg, Watertown and Oswego before forwarding them to the ‘Holiday Mail for Heroes’ program.

This season, she is expanding the appeal to include schools, veterans and civic groups across Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.

Here are guidelines for participation in the program:

All cards must be signed

Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member” (Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program)

Only cards are being accepted. Do not include envelopes. Do not send letters

Do not include email or home addresses on the cards (The Red Cross says that the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships)

Do not include inserts of any kind, such as photos

Avoid 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.

Cards should be dropped off at one of Senator Ritchie’s District Offices:

330 Ford St., Ogdensburg, NY 13669

317 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601

46 E. Bridge St., First Floor, Oswego, NY 13126

The deadline is November 15.

Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.

For more information, call Senator Ritchie at (315) 393-3024.