The Holiday Mail for Heroes program, which is organized by the Red Cross and Pitney Bowes, helps bring some cheer to servicemembers and their families during the holiday season, and this year the program was especially successful. Americans sent out an estimated 1.2 million cards this year, and everyone from NFL teams to congressmen helped play a role.

The cards made their way to a wide variety of places. Some were sent to military hospitals while others ended up at bases across the globe. Among those who supported Holiday Mail for Heroes were country star Trace Adkins and the first families of several states, including those with large military populations such as Pennsylvania and Georgia. 

“We thank all the generous people who collectively sent in more than a million cards this year,” said Sherri Brown, senior vice president, Service to the Armed Forces at the Red Cross. “The cards went to people all over the world, to places far and near, including ships at sea. These expressions of thanks and cheer make the holidays a little brighter for those who have sacrificed so much for our country.”

This is the sixth year of existence for Holiday Mail for Heroes, and it has grown considerably since its early days. It started in 2007 when Walter Reed Army Medical Center simply wanted help distributing cards to wounded soldiers.