December 4, 2017

SUNY Empire Participates in the American Red Cross’s Holidays for Heroes Program

Executive Vice President for Administration Joseph L. Garcia, a retired lieutenant colonel and 28-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, stands with Librarian Sara Hull in the lobby of 2 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, N.Y., as cards for the Holidays for Heroes program were collected.
Executive Vice President Joseph L. Garcia, a retired lieutenant colonel and 28-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, stands with Librarian Sara Hull in the lobby of 2 Union Ave., as cards for the Holidays for Heroes program were collected.

Sara Hull, librarian at SUNY Empire State College, opened the first tab on her random acts of kindness advent calendar and the message underneath read: Write a card to a soldier.

Hull thought, “Well, I can do better than that.”

An online search brought her to the American Red Cross’s Holidays for Heroes program.

Formerly known as Holiday Mail for Heroes, the Holidays for Heroes Program is administered by local chapters and, according to the Red Cross, “enables Americans to ‘Give Something That Means Something’ this holiday season and other holidays year-round.”

Hull contacted Michel Lee, a volunteer with the Adirondack Saratoga Chapter of the Red Cross, who was most supportive of the college’s efforts and, on Nov. 29, gift-wrapped donation boxes appeared in all six of the college’s buildings located in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Boxes were collected on Dec. 1, and 240 cards were delivered to the Red Cross by Hull.

Outreach to the area college community was well received.

Many employees said that they were pleased to have the opportunity to participate.

The cards collected from college employees will be supplemented by cards from Hull’s friends and family, and the families of other college employees.

Middle school students at the Academy of Holy Names held a card-making session Dec. 6, thanks to Adrianna, the daughter of Desiree Drindak, the college’s interim director of the Office of Veteran and Military Education.

Members of local Brownie Troop 3197 are making cards thanks to Clarissa, the daughter of the college’s registrar, Pamela Enser.

Adirondack Saratoga chapter’s Lee told Hull that cards may be dropped off at any Red Cross chapter, American Legion or VFW Post throughout the holiday season.

When sharing cards with active-duty members of the military, the Red Cross asks that donated cards follow its guidelines.

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