State lawmakers helped kick off the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign Wednesday night at the Capitol.

The program from the American Red Cross sends holiday cards to military families around the world.

In fact, last year the group collected more than 35,000 cards locally and more than 6.5 million nationally.

The end goal is to give each service member and veteran a little holiday cheer with an actual handwritten card or message.

“For many of them, they can’t be home for the holidays and receiving a card from our nation or our communities really means a lot to them,” Mary Liz Murphy, with the Red Cross, said. “It lets them know we’re thinking about them, we care about them and we’re wishing them well during the holiday season.

The Red Cross hopes people in the community will host a card signing party for the program.

Community members can send cards to Holiday Mail for Heroes, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, Md. 20791-5456.