SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner today announced this year’s Holiday Card Drive for the Military will be done in partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO) of Illinois.
“With Veterans Day this week and the holidays fast approaching, it is important that we remember those men and women still serving in harm’s way,” Governor Rauner said. “A small token of appreciation, a holiday card, does so much to lift the spirits of service members serving far away from home over the holidays. I encourage our citizens, from schoolchildren to retirees, to send their thoughts of gratitude to our service men and women.”
Governor Rauner said Illinois citizens should send holiday cards for U.S. service members to the USO of Illinois as early as possible and thanked the USO of Illinois for helping to distribute the holiday cards to troops and for all the USO does to lift the morale and increase the well-being of our military members throughout the year.
Holiday cards will be accepted through mail delivery only from now through November 30th at the following address:
USO of Illinois
333 S. Wabash Ave., 16th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604
“We are thrilled to partner with Governor Rauner and the State of Illinois to help bring messages of cheer and good will to our troops and their families, whether they reside in Illinois, are passing through or are stationed or deployed overseas,” said Alison Ruble, the President and CEO of the USO of Illinois. “Our Illinois community wants to show our troops and their families that they are remembered over the holidays, and throughout the year, but may not know where to connect their support. The USO of Illinois is proud to be that bridge to our military community.”
Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes Jr., the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard and Director of the Illinois Department of Military Affairs, thanked the USO of Illinois for their support of his Soldiers and Airmen.
“Whenever we send troops overseas or we bring them home, the USO of Illinois is there. They are at our Family Days, our celebrations, our training events, our reintegration events…any time our service members need support, a USO volunteer is there with a cup of hot coffee and a smile,” Maj. Gen. Hayes said.
With service members serving throughout the world, including many remote locations, and the additional holiday mail, it is important to send holiday cards and gifts to service members as early as possible to ensure they arrive before the holidays.
The United States Postal Service recommends the following holiday mail deadlines for service members serving overseas:
Standard Post – as soon as possible (deadline was Nov. 7)
Space Available Mail (SAM): Nov. 25
Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): Dec. 3
Priority Mail: Dec. 10, except for AE ZIP 093, which is Dec. 3
First-class letters and cards: Dec. 10, (except for AE ZIP 093, which is Dec.3)
Priority Mail Express Military Service: Dec. 17. This service is not available to AE ZIP 093; check with your local post office to find out if it’s available to another specific APO/FPO/DPO address.