Red Cross Gives Shoppers a Chance to Thank Soldiers

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COLUMBIA - The Red Cross offered a "Holiday Mail for Heroes" event at the Columbia Mall until 2 p.m. Saturday.  The event allows shoppers to write holiday cards for servicemen and women working overseas.  

Envelopes, pens and cards cluttered the table sitting across from Victoria's Secret.  Red cross volunteers, some military personnel themselves, asked passing mall-goers to sit down and write a note for those in active service.  

The tables were never empty.  Young children all the way up to senior citizens took a moment to write a note of thanks and give donations.  The Red Cross sent 1.3 million letters last holiday season and it hopes to beat that total nationally this year.  "I've seen even just little kids getting excited that they are able to tell somebody thank you," Red Cross Volunteer Rebecca Estes said. "It's a little early for Christmas but it gets people thinking about what the season is all about."

This will be the only event in Columbia this year because the Red Cross has to mail the letters by November 26th.  St. Louis will be hosting several similar events next weekend.  On Saturday the 17th, the Galleria will host a chance for visitors to write letters, and on Sunday at the St. Louis Rams game a table will be available as well.