Holiday Happenings: #GiveWithMeaning this Holiday Season

Across New Jersey, people have been participating in Red Cross activities to spread holiday cheer. Thank you to all who are giving something that means something this holiday season!


Holiday Mail for Heroes

Wyndham 2

Wyndham Hotel Group

Thousands of cards expressing encouragement and holiday cheer to military members and veterans have been collected at Red Cross offices throughout the state. Through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign, the cards will be sent to members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving overseas and our veterans here in New Jersey this holiday season.

HMFH 94.3 The Point - Townsquare Media

The Point’s Laurie Cataldo and Ted Maturo

Townsquare Media radio stations 94.3 The Point, 105.7 The Hawk, 96.9 Lite Rock and WOBM, invited their listeners to participate with the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. The Point’s Laurie Cataldo and Ted Maturo presented hundreds of cards and pictures collected for U.S. troops and veterans. After hearing about the opportunity to participate, the local Starbucks in Toms River joined in the effort and made holiday cards available for their customers to sign.

Cub Scout Pack 32

Cub Scout Pack 32

Several youth groups are sending some smiles to our service members and veterans including the Red Cross Morris Youth Council which created more than 100 holiday cards and Cub Scout Pack 32 of Lambertville who drew pictures and wrote notes of holiday cheer to service members and veterans.

Employees from the Wyndham Hotel Group visited the Red Cross in Montclair on November 13 to create holiday cards, as well as help package cards collected through the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign into festive presentations to the military and veterans with ribbons and bows.

Red Cross Essex County Youth Council

Red Cross Essex Youth Council

The Red Cross Essex Youth Council lent a helping hand sorting cards during its Holiday Mail for Heroes event on Saturday, December 12 where more than 30 youth volunteers from middle schools, high schools and colleges across Essex County gathered at the Red Cross Montclair office to sort and organize hundreds of holiday cards created as part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign.

“I had a great time,” said Sydney Scirica, president, Essex County Youth Council. “My favorite part is seeing all of the handmade cards from the little kids.”

Adopt A Unit

Adopt A Unit 1

Adopt A Unit Pack Up at Verizon

The American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey Board of Directors participated in the Red Cross Adopt A Unit campaign and collected items for comforts of home packages for the troops. Board members invited friends, family members, employees at their companies and other groups to get involved with item collections and writing holiday greetings for military members.

On Saturday, December 5, Board members, Verizon employees and family members, as well as a group of volunteers with UPS, donated their time to help sort items, write holiday greetings and prepare 100 comforts of home packages for shipment to the troops by the holidays.

Wilken & Guttenplan

Wilken & Guttenplan

Generous participation with the Red Cross of Northern New Jersey Board of Directors Adopt A Unit campaign included Board members, their families and employees with Verizon, Audio Visual Associates, IBEW 827, CWA 13000, BASF, Inserra Shop Rite & Shop Rite Family, Suez, PSE&G, JCP&L, UPS, NE Regional Council of Carpenters, NJ Carpenter Union – CWA District 1 Union, Nisivoccia, Prominent Properties-Sotheby’s International Realty, Reology, M. Groome Inc., Wilken & Guttenplan, LLC, Girls Scouts in Nutley, Cub Scout Pack 32, Erickson, and Greg and Joanne Breem, in memory of their daughter Megan.

Operation Fireside

Coast Guard recruits enjoying Holiday dinner

Coast Guard recruits enjoying Holiday dinner.

When training prevents recruits at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May from being able to return home for the holidays, Operation Fireside helps ensure our heroes have a happy holiday. The Red Cross pairs recruits with local families who have generously opened their homes and welcomed recruits into their family for the holidays. This year, approximately 700 Coast Guard recruits stationed in Cape May will enjoy a family holiday through Operation Fireside.

Totes of Hope

Parsippany Hill Red Cross Club

Parsippany Hill Red Cross Club

During November and December, the Parsippany Hills Red Cross Club collected items and created 27 Totes of Hope for homeless veterans. The totes contain personal care items, including soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, shampoo, rain ponchos and socks.

The Totes of Hope will be distributed to homeless veterans in New Jersey.


Veterans Holiday Social 

Red Cross volunteers helped veterans at the Menlo Park Veterans Home get in the holiday spirit. On Saturday, December 5, volunteers hosted a Holiday Social where veterans enjoyed music, dancing, singing, cookies and hot cocoa.


Girl Scouts 1

Princeton Girl Scouts

During the Princeton Girl Scouts annual Community Service Night, Girl Scouts Troop 71830 from Princeton High School helped younger scouts create candy cane reindeer favors to bring a smile to the faces of Red Cross Home Delivered Meals clients this holiday season.

Munich Re America in Princeton participated in a Wish Tree program where employees selected and donated

Munich Re

Munich Re

requested items for Red Cross home delivered meals clients. Denise Faragasso, Law Department Senior Administrator, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. presented the more than 100 donated gifts to the Red Cross. The gifts will be distributed to the home delivered meals clients for the holidays.


Red Cross New Jersey Region volunteers and staff members rolled up a sleeve during Blood Donor Day on November 24 to help give patients the lifesaving gift of blood this holiday season.

View more photos of holiday happenings.

Join us in giving something that means something this holiday season by giving of your time, making a blood donation or making a financial contribution to support Red Cross programs and services.

Our 2015 Holiday Gift Catalog has the perfect gift for everyone on your list! The catalog offers a variety of symbolic, inspired gifts so that you can honor the special people in your life. By donating to the Holiday Giving Catalog you can feel good knowing that your gift will help people when they need it most.

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