LIMA — Service members will tell you the thing at the top of their day is mail call.Allen County Chapter of American Red Cross is participating for the first time in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program, officials announced this week. The program provides Americans the chance to send holiday greetings to armed forces personnel. The Red Cross partners with Pitney Bowes, Simon Properties, including the Lima Mall, for the program. Locally, the Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home will sponsor the program.Pitney Bowes donates time to screen cards for hazardous materials, sort them and send them to bases. Chamberlain-Huckeriede is paying local shipping costs to mail the signed cards to a screening center. The mall will hold three card-signing events for the public, including Saturday for Santa’s arrival. Simon Properties hopes to gather 1 million cards across the country for the troops, said Theresa Morocco, marketing and business development director for the Lima Mall.Red Cross officials encouraged the public to participate in the program, at a signing event, mailing a card individually (postmarked by Dec. 9) or with groups, such as classrooms or scout troops. Cards can also be dropped off at the Allen County chapter house, 610 S. Collett St., by Dec. 7. Cards should not include any embellishments, such as glitter, stamps or inserts. Also not accepted are “care package” items or money.“All you need is a pen and piece of paper to share your appreciation of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make each day in their service to their country,” said David Collins, executive director of the Allen County chapter American Red Cross.Visit http://rdcrss.org/tbMHSE for details; the site is helpful for groups wishing to sign or make cards wanting to know specifications of the cards.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.