The American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter collected more than 3,500 Holiday Mail for Heroes cards that will be sent to service members stationed in the United States and overseas.
"This was just a tremendous show of support for those who are serving or who have served our country," said Clayton Kennedy, the chapter's community market manager and local program coordinator. "I was especially impressed with the number of cards that came from students. We had students from kindergarten to high school either making or signing cards."
Schools from all parts of the chapter's 21 county coverage area took part in Holiday Mail for Heroes, which was sponsored locally by Columbia Insurance Group and Commerce Bank.
The chapter hosted three public card signings-two in Columbia and one in Jefferson City. Organizations, companies, youth groups and individuals also turned in cards for the program, which began in October.
Kennedy said the chapter sent out nearly 750 cards last year and had a goal of sending 2,000 cards this year.
"This was really more than I expected," Kennedy said. "I thought more than doubling our goal from last year was ambitious, but the response from people across the chapter made the program successful."