Holidays for Heroes


About the Campaign: Each winter, the Red Cross collects holiday cards from individuals and corporations, and distributes them to veterans, active military members and their families during November and December as a way of brightening their holidays and saying soldiers-with-cardsthank you for their courageous and heroic service. This campaign, known as Holidays for Heroes, annually distributes more than 30,000 cards at VAs, nursing homes, local military units and any other place where active or retired veterans are located in the region. This includes airports for those military members traveling through the region at the time.

Although this is a national Red Cross campaign, all cards collected by the local chapter are distributed

How You Can Get Involved | Buy or create holiday cards, write a message of thanks or season’s greetings, and drop them off or mail them to your nearest Red Cross chapter. Or, blank cards are available at all Red Cross offices. Stop by and sign one or two there.

This is a great activity for school classes, Scout troops, church groups or social groups. Handmade cards, particularly from school children, are the most popular to receive.

For more details, call the Holidays for Heroes information line at 513-579-3004.

2015-12-01-10-29-23What You Need to Know | In order to make cards as meaningful as possible to a wide audience, we recommend you use generic titles such as “Dear Service Member, Veteran or Military Family Member” when writing the cards. You don’t want your “Dear Sailor” card ending up in the hands of a Marine.

Also, cards should not contain glitter, because some cards may end up at the bedside of a wounded service member and the glitter could aggravate existing health issues. And img_0602please don’t add any pictures, letters, checks, credit cards, wads of money, cookies, candy, guns, tanks, fighter jets or such items to the cards. A simple, handwritten note is what’s valued the most.

Double Your Effort | When you get done, take a picture of your work and share it with us on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Get Some Motivation | Check out these videos of others participating in the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign.


National Fire Prevention Week October 9-15

Oct. 9-15 is National Fire Prevention Week. Since you never know when a fire might occur, it’s important to be prepared, and know how to prevent them from happening. The American Red Cross responds to a fire every nine minutes.This week we are sharing ways you can do your part in preventing, and preparing for fires in your home.


Tip 1: Keep a fire extinguisher on every level.It’s important to remember that fire extinguishers are only one element of a complete fire survival plan. Use your extinguisher only to keep a small self-contained fire from growing, only when the room is not filled with smoke, or to create a safe pathway out of the home. Be sure to read the instructions and become familiar with your fire extinguisher’s parts and operations before a fire breaks out.


Tip 2: Keep flammable material 3 feet from heat sources. Keep objects like furniture, bedding and clothing away from radiators and space heaters. Do not leave space heaters on when you are not in the room or when you go to sleep. Not only are they fire hazards, they can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning.


Tip 3: Never leave food on the stove unattended. Remember to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food. If you have to leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove. Also, when you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.


Tip 4: Don’t overload electrical outlets. Drawing too much energy from one electrical outlet can cause you to lose electricity or (far worse) start an electrical fire. With that being said, you may also want to consider buying a surge protector to protect expensive equipment (like computers, TVs, and stereos) from electrical surges, which can cause damage. Heavy current appliances such as stoves, hot water heaters, electric dryers, etc. should be on separate circuit breakers or fuses because they draw so much electrical current.


Tip 5: Have an escape plan. Eighty percent of Americans don’t realize that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation. Therefore, plan your escape and your capabilities. Know at least two exits from every room and make sure your family knows them as well.

Tip 6: Install smoke alarms on every level. Fires can spread very quickly, so every second is important. Smoke alarms can give you extra time to escape a fire by alerting you if there’s a fire somewhere else in your home or apartment building, waking you up if a fire starts while you are asleep, or by detecting a fire before you are even able to see flames or smell smoke.


Tip 7: Store and use matches, lighters, and candles carefully. Be sure to keep matches and lighters away from young children. Store them in a cool, dry place away from heat sources (such as stoves or heaters) that could accidentally ignite them. Don’t light matches or burn candles around flammable objects, and avoid burning candles near an open window or breeze that could spread a fire and never leave candles burning unattended.

Honoring Veterans for Veterans Day

Veterans Day is November 14th and the Red Cross would like to create a photo essay/slide show for use on a variety of Red Cross social media platforms.  The photo essay/slide show would highlight 10-15 veterans who continue to serve their community/country by volunteering or working for the American Red Cross.  The Red Cross would like to request that everyone reach out and identify veterans in all lines of service.

 To make this work we will need:

1.    A high quality photo of a veteran(s) who volunteers or works for the region.  We would prefer a photo of them in action…if not we’ll take a nice head shot.

a.    Branded with Red Cross

b.    Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, & Coast Guard

c.    Variety of Red Cross jobs (DAT, ERV driver, PHSS, SAF volunteer/staff)

 2.    Don’t forget to secure photo/information releases for your subjects.  Please explain to each of the subjects that their images may be used for more than just this tribute project.(possible FR and marketing use)

 3.    A short paragraph about the vet that includes:

a.    Name

b.    Branch of service, rank

c.    What was their last duty assignment and what was their military job.

d.    How long have they been with the Red Cross and what do they do at the chapter.

e.    Just an example – Dudley Baker is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who retired as Chief Master Sergeant after 25 years of service.  His last duty assignment was with 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan, A.B. Korea where he served as the senior enlisted advisor to the installation commander.  Baker has been with the Red Cross for over 10 years and is currently an SAF Division Director. He continues serving his country by helping support the men and women of the U.S. Military with American Red Cross services. Please create your own short narrative about your Vet.

 4.    I’ll use the best 10-15 (or more) based on the quality of the photo and captions and try to cover each division.

 5.    The deadline to send the photos and captions to Cory Paul is October 19th.

A Way to Remember

The Darke County Fairgrounds is across the street from the Northern Miami Valley Chapter’s offices in Greenville, Ohio, and each year the chapter’s volunteers staff a booth at the Fair, offering patrons a chance to learn a thing or two about the Red Cross. They teach imgres1hands-only CPR to the adults and stop-drop-and-roll to the kids. They sign up volunteers and promote preparedness kits.saf-armyman-giveaway
This year, however, they began something new. Executive Director Lynne Gump purchased several hundred of those little green, plastic Army men that were popular toys back before technology took all of the fun out of being a kid. She placed them on the Red Cross table with a sign encouraging people to take one as a reminder to remember those who are serving or have served in our nation’s military.

imgres2With the proximity to Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the Air National Guard unit in Springfield, the chapter’s six counties have a large contingent of veterans and active military members. In Darke County alone, volunteers made nearly 1,200 visits to veterans in 2015. So the military appreciation is already high.

By the end of the Fair, the chapter gave away 315 of the toy soldiers, which translates into a lot of thoughts and prayers for those who serve or served.