Author Archives: Central Coast Red Cross Youth

Holiday Mail For Heroes


It’s been said that home is where the heart is. Nothing brings a touch of home to someone far away from family and friends like a card. For the fifth year in a row, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are giving everyone an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of the U.S. military, veterans and their families through the 2011 Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

From now until December 9, the public is invited to send holiday cards that contain messages of cheer and appreciation. The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will then screen the cards for hazardous materials, sort and package the cards, and deliver them to military bases and hospitals, veteran’s hospitals and other locations during the holidays.

Sam Kille served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1990 to 2003. He is now the Regional Director of Communications for the Red Cross in Greater New York. Kille knows what it means to get mail when you are serving your country far from home.

“It’s hard to describe what it means to get a letter from home,” he said. “And it didn’t matter who the letter was from. Somehow, mail was a validation that what I was doing was important and recognized.” You can read more on his blog, “Changing Lives, The Storybook.”

The Holiday Mail For Heroes post office box is open and ready to receive cards. Please send all mail to:
Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

Please observe the following guidelines to ensure your card goes through the review process quickly:

* Only cards are being accepted. Do not send letters.
* All cards should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9, 2011. Please be sure to affix adequate postage.
* Ensure that all cards are signed.
* Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
* Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
* Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
* Please do not send cards with glitter.
* Participants should limit the number of cards they submit to 25 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

Additional ways to become involved with the campaign include connecting with fellow card senders through Facebook at and Twitter at using the hashtag #holidaymail.

For more information and card requirements, please visit


Welcome & Welcome Back!

Welcome & Welcome Back!

We are very excited to start a new school year with you and we look forward to seeing all of the fun activities you’ll take part in on behalf of the American Red Cross! We want to welcome back our returning clubs: Camarillo, Oxnard, Rio Mesa, La Reina, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Westlake, Oak Park, Cabrillo, Dos Pueblos, Lompoc, San Marcos, Santa Barbara, UCSB, Santa Maria, Righetti, St. Joe’s, Santa Ynez, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Paso Robles, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and North County Christian.

And, we want to give a warm welcome to our brand new clubs this year: Carpinteria, Templeton and Mission Prep.

We also have a new staff member based out of our San Luis Obispo office who we would like to introduce you to- Casey Weiss.  She is the new Community Services Coordinator and she will be supporting the clubs in the northern section of the Central Coast Region.  Speaking of the Central Coast Region, for those of you who don’t know, the Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County Chapters are working more closely than ever before as the American Red Cross, Central Coast Region. This means that you will have monthly calls with clubs from all over our region and will be working together to contribute to the same wonderful cause: helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. We appreciate all that you do and are extremely fortunate to have so many young people continue to come back year after year in support of the Red Cross.

We are going to have a great year!!!

1 Billionth Vaccine!


The American Red Cross and its Measles Initiative partners today announced they have helped vaccinate one billion children in more than 60 developing countries since 2001, making significant gains in the global effort to stop measles.

The child who received the history-making measles vaccination was one of 3.5 million immunized in Mozambique this May. The immunization campaign was sponsored by the American Red Cross and the Measles Initiative’s four other founding partners – the United Nations Foundation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and World Health Organization.

Looking ahead to its second decade, the Measles Initiative will focus on achieving a series of interim targets toward the eventual eradication of measles. The first of these milestones will be to reduce measles mortality by 95 percent by 2015 (compared to 2000). The Measles Initiative estimates it will need approximately $212 million between 2012 and 2015 to reach the targets.


Almost ten years after the devastating attacks of 9/11, the United States engaged in two wars that sent tens of thousands of American troops to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. A new survey conducted recently by the American Red Cross about the attitudes of the first post-9/11 generation of American youth reveal for the first time their opinions about the rules of war and what is or is not acceptable behavior during wartime.  On June 3, 2011, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the American Red Cross collaborated to host a timely discussion on the relevance and importance of international humanitarian law at a time when civil conflicts are also erupting in North Africa and the Middle East.

Listen to the audio clip and tell us what you think about International Humanitarian Law.

San Marcos get a new Red Cross look!


The San Marcos Red Cross Club wanted to refresh and create their own Red Cross look. They plan many activities for the entire school year including numerous bake sales and the Teachers vs. Seniors Basketball Game. But the club wanted to do something different this year and so they decided to design their own shirts.

The process of creating a design was not difficult but raising money to pay for the shirts was a tough task.  They did not know where to begin with their plans so they did what they are best at; holding bake sales. The club was able to fundraise money from bake sales and each member donated a few dollars to personalize their shirts.

The end result is a new look, direction, and motivation for the San Marcos Red Cross Club. They plan to be even more successful in their efforts to help the Santa Barbara community and beyond. Each member will now proudly represent the Red Cross and San Marcos High School on Friday April 22nd, 2011 at the Teachers vs. Seniors Basketball Game.

The San Marcos team hopes that other clubs will be motivated to do something as a club that not only shows Red Cross pride but also the effort it takes to help the community.

The San Marcos team poses with their new Red Cross look!

Good luck to all the Red Cross Clubs in their fundraisers and other events!

– Manpreet Kaur