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American Red Cross kicks off Holiday for Heroes campaign

By Staff | Sep 21, 2021

The American Red Cross’ Holiday for Heroes campaign is an annual local initiative to care for and honor South Florida military members and veterans. Every year, the American Red Cross in South Florida leads a series of projects throughout the holiday season, beginning on Veteran’s Day through the New Year.

The first initiative, Holiday Care Packages for Heroes, provides the community with the opportunity to donate items for care packages to military members and local area veterans that are in hospitals or nursing homes for the holidays. These items and messages are graciously donated by the community and placed inside holiday stockings hand-sewn by volunteers. For more than 10 years, South Florida Red Cross volunteers have cut and sewn hundreds of stockings in what started in the Naples and Fort Myers area but has spread throughout the entire region.

The Red Cross, with lead partner Arthrex Inc. and other sponsors, will assemble and deliver these holiday stockings for military members and local area veterans who are away from their families during the holidays.

The second initiative, Holiday Gifts for Veteran Families, provides the community with the opportunity to donate gifts for veteran families during the holidays. In a time where many families have needed comfort and relief, the Red Cross is helping to spread hope and happiness by giving back to veterans and their children this holiday season.

“It’s incredibly important to let our service members and veterans know how much we appreciate them,” said Josett Valdez, Reginal CEO for the South Florida Red Cross. “When you are far from home or in a hospital or nursing home, especially around the holidays, many feel detached from their loved ones, so to receive a care package and well wishes from home is powerful. It makes you feel connected and reminds you that the sacrifices being made are for a worthy cause and are not forgotten.”

This year, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the usual drop-off locations have been transitioned to online gift registries. Using the registries, the community can purchase requested items for direct shipment to the South Florida Red Cross distribution team.

For Holiday Care Packages for Heroes, purchases MUST be made by Friday, Oct. 29, from the Holiday for Heroes online gift registry.

For Holiday Gifts for Veteran Families, purchases MUST be made by Friday, Nov. 26, from the Holiday Gifts for Veteran Families online gift registry.

To learn more about Holiday for Heroes, please visit redcross.org/holidayforheroes.