ALBANY — Central and Northern New Yorkers have a chance to to spread holiday cheer to members of our military through the “Christmas Cards for Our Troops” program.

State Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Huevelton, is partnering with the Albany “Veterans Miracle Center” and Ogdensburg native and radio personality Melody Burns for the initiative, which collects holiday cards—personally signed by donors—to distribute to members of the military at veterans’ hospitals, Army installations and other locations around the world during the holiday season.

“Members of our military sacrifice endlessly to protect the freedoms we hold so dear,” said Senator Ritchie. “One of the sacrifices they make is being apart from their loved ones—and that’s something that is especially hard during the holiday season. I encourage people throughout Central and Northern New York to join me again this year to show our brave military heroes we appreciate their service during the Christmas season, and year-round.”

Since 2012, with the help of Central and Northern New Yorkers, Senator Ritchie has collected over 80,000 Christmas cards for the program. Those interested in participating in “Christmas Cards for Our Troops” are asked to follow the guidelines below:

— Sign each card with your first name, city, state and a personal message if desired;

— Do not include envelopes;

— Include your name/organization’s name and address with each bundle of cards;

— Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member,” as cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program; and· Avoid cards with glitter or using loose glitter, as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.

Once signed, cards must be sent to or dropped off at Senator Ritchie’s offices by December 1st:

— Watertown: 317 Washington St., Room 418

— Oswego: 46 East Bridge St., first floor

— Ogdensburg: 330 Ford St., basement

If you plan to drop cards off in-person, please call ahead before doing so:

— Watertown: 315-782-3418

— Oswego: 315-342-2057

— Ogdensburg: 315-393-3024

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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