How to spread Valentine's Day love to veterans and deployed service members

Valentine’s Day is a great day to show your thanks and appreciation to former and current service members.

If you don’t happen to know a veteran or anyone who’s currently serving in the armed forces, there are Valentine’s Day card drives that are being hosted by several nonprofit organizations throughout the country.

Here are three nonprofits that are helping people spread Valentine’s Day cheer.

Hugs for Soldiers 

You can send your best wishes to deployed service members through Hugs for Soldiers. The Georgia-based nonprofit helps civilians send patriotic cards and letters of appreciation to brave troops all year round. Hugs for Soldiers told Fox News Digital that the organization is accepting cards and will bundle them in care packages that are being sent to active service members who have asked for support.

Hugs for Soldiers recommends sending in handwritten letters or notes a few weeks before Valentine’s Day since shipping for the cards generally takes two weeks. Thoughtful civilians can mail their holiday or general thank you card and optional unsealed card envelope to one of the two addresses below.

If using the U.S. Postal Service:

Hugs for Soldiers

P.O. Box 2887

Duluth, GA 30096

If using FedEx or UPS: 

Hugs for Soldiers

Duluth First United Methodist Church

3208 Duluth Highway 120

Duluth, GA 30096

Hugs for Soldiers screens cards before shipping them out. Tips the organization gives civilians include keeping cards to a size no bigger than standard 8.5-by-11-inch letter paper, avoiding glitter and spreading positive messages. Providing photos and contact info is optional.

Operation Gratitude

You can send a Valentine’s Day card or care package to deployed troops, veterans, military families and first responders through Operation Gratitude. The California-based nonprofit accepts prepared cards for care packages all year round. Operation Gratitude’s Greeting Card Brigade also accepts blank handmade greeting cards that are provided to service members who send cards to loved ones, friends and family.

Operation Gratitude will attempt to send out Valentine’s Day-themed greeting cards if they’re mailed to the organization early enough, but timeless cards are preferred. The cards can be mailed or dropped off in person at the address below.

Operation Gratitude

9409 Owensmouth

Chatsworth CA 91311

The bespoke cards that are made must remain blank inside and measure between 4.25-by-5.5 inches and 5-by-7 inches. Envelopes are required, so service members abroad can mail the cards back home. Approved card decorations include ribbons, lace, bows and 3D stickers – all of which must be securely attached. Pearls, rhinestones and glitter are not approved because it often falls out during shipping. While not required, clear card sleeves are welcome to preserve the card’s design. Senders also have the option to provide return addresses in case they’d like to hear from service members.

Operation Gratitude care packages can be sent to troops, families and first responders through cash donations. The nonprofit ships three care packages for every $45 donation.

Soldiers’ Angels 

If you’d like to send Valentine’s Day cards to deployed troops and VA Hospitals, take a look at Soldiers’ Angels. The Texas-based nonprofit is running a "Valentines for Veterans" campaign where civilians can submit store-bought or handmade cards and individually wrapped candy. To participate in the campaign, Soldiers’ Angels only asks for $1 in cash or check to cover shipping costs. 

Soldiers’ Angels will be accepting Valentine’s Day cards until Feb. 14.

Valentines for Veterans participants can mail their card, $1 contribution, optional unsealed card envelope and candy to the address below.

Soldiers’ Angels Valentines for Veterans

2895 NE Loop 410, Suite 107

San Antonio, TX 78218

Return addresses are welcome in case you’re open to hearing from the Valentine’s Day card recipient, but it’s not a requirement for campaign participation.

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