State Senate Report, by state Sen. Patty Ritchie

From friends and family to good food and gifts, for many people, the holidays are the happiest time of the year.  However, for our brave troops serving overseas, they can be the loneliest.

In an effort to send a “touch of home” to our troops, I’m once again calling on Central and Northern New Yorkers to participate in my “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.

The program — sponsored by the American Red Cross — aims to collect donated Christmas cards to be sent to U.S. soldiers serving overseas.

This year, for the second year in a row, I’m partnering with Ogdensburg native and radio personality Melody Burns to collect holiday greetings. Last year, thanks to many of you, we were able to collect 2,200 cards to distribute to service members at military installations, veterans hospitals and other locations.

To help send holiday greetings to our troops:

** Do not include envelopes;

** Do not include personal letters, photos or inserts of any kind;

** Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member,” as cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through the program;

** Avoid cards with glitter or using loose glitter in cards as it can aggravate health issues of ill or injured warriors;

After being signed, cards can be mailed to or dropped off at the following locations:

Office of Senator Patty Ritchie

330 Ford St.

Ogdensburg, NY 13669

Office of Senator Patty Ritchie

317 Washington St.

Watertown, NY 13601

Office of Senator Patty Ritchie

46 East Bridge St.

Oswego, NY 13126

The deadline to contribute cards is Nov. 15.

It’s important to recognize and pay tribute to our troops year round, but, it’s especially important during the holidays. I encourage you to join me in sending warm wishes this season through my “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program to the troops who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

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