Our Soldiers' and Sailors' #1 Biggest Request is Letters and Cards from Home
Imagine being on a ship for months, or on a military base thousands of miles away, or stationed in a forward operating area that can't even be disclosed. You're away from home, family, friends, the relative safety and comfort of the U.S. and possibly for the first time in your life. You might feel lonely, fearful, and sad, especially when family events, holidays, and life in general continue on at home without you being there to share in it. Many soldiers do get a lot of communications from family and friends, but sadly many do not. Writing letters and cards for them that we can ship with our boxes is an easy way to contribute to our efforts. It's an inexpensive way to make a huge impact in morale. They can never have too many letters to read all throughout the year! Here are some guidelines for letters and cards provided to Hearts in a Box for our shipments. 

IMPORTANT! We will be packing boxes and shipping them by November 22. In order to ensure we get cards and letters in time, we would like to receive them by no later than November 15! If you have any questions or need to make special arrangements, please contact us at Contact@HeartsInABox.org!  Feel free to use the information below to adapt your own requests of teachers or organization leaders.
What to Do
  1. Use a salutation that is generic, such as "Dear Soldiers", "Hello Fellow Americans", or "Dear Friends". You get the idea!
  2. For content, write naturally, as you would to a friend about what's going on back home, family life, sports and teams you like, cool places you just went, what your toddler just did, what Jim Harbaugh just tweeted, and any other happy, funny things. It's also nice to express thanks for the sacrifices the soldiers are making in serving their country and your best wishes for their safety and success. Keep it positive and uplifting!
  3. In your closing, it's okay to provide just your name or family name (e.g. John and Jane Smith or The Anderson family of Plymouth, MI). If you want to include your address or email address, that's fine, but don't EXPECT a response from the unit.
NOTE: Handmade cards, pictures, and notes from children are always heartwarming, smile-inducing items to receive. If you are a teacher sending a package from your class, consider putting a return address sticker to easily let them know it came from a school and was part of a lesson (e.g. From Ms. Kerrigan's 2nd Grade Class, Acme Elementary School, Address)

Will you get a reply?
It's possible, but don't consider it likely. There is no guarantee the recipients can or will reply to you. Remember the missions they are on require their focus, as does taking care of themselves by sleeping and eating enough. Providing an email address is the best way to encourage a reply and the easiest for the soldier to manage. 
What NOT to Do
  • Do not include an extensive or divisive discussion of religion or your views on other religions. The seasonal messages printed on cards and acknowledging your prayers or blessings for them is fine!
  • Do not include a divisive political discussion about the U.S. government, upcoming elections or the actions of any other nation. These men and women will salute whoever wins as their commander-in-chief. This topic tends to be anything but positive and uplifting and is best avoided.
  • For the safety of our troops, please do not seal your envelope. We need to make sure that there is nothing in the envelope that is restricted from being sent to military personnel. (We don't want to read your notes ... and we don't have time. We just need to make sure every letter is secure and safe for the recipient to open! It's the times we live in, unfortunately.)
Where to Send Your Letters and Cards
You can mail your package of letters, cards, and/or drawings to:

Hearts in a Box
9259 Pine Hill Court
Saline, Michigan  48176