A Healthy Holiday Tradition Returns


(NAPSA)—Americans were expected to send about 20 billion pieces of mail last holiday season, according to the U.S. Postal Service. But this year, the cards you send could spread more than cheer—they might spread good health, as well. A storied tradition has returned to households across America, as people are including a special type of holiday stamp on their mailings. In the early 1900s, funds raised with the colorful stickers provided help in the fight against tuberculosis. Today, they help combat swine flu and seasonal influenza, lung cancer, childhood asthma, tobacco use, air pollution and more. Holiday Health Called Christmas Seals, the stamps are available from the American Lung Association. The charity sends them to 15 million people who use them to decorate cards and packages. In return, people send in small contributions of around $10 to $15, which add up to become the organization’s most successful fundraiser of the year. The Lung Association also offers a line of holiday gifts and products ranging from colorful wrapping paper and whimsical globe ornamentsto greeting cards, adhesive gift tags, and lapel pins, which are available for purchase at www.ChristmasSeals.org. Also, people can visit Christ masseals.org to send free e-cards to family and friends, selecting a seal from all those issued over the A colorful Christmas Seals tree ornament could help Americans breathe easier. past century. They can alsocollect and share Christmas Seals on Facebook. A History Of Helping The campaign has attracted plenty of attention since it began more than 100 years ago, with celebrities like Bob Hope, the Smothers Brothers and Cybill Shepherd helping to spread the word. The 2009 national celebrity campaign chair is actress S. Epatha Merkerson, who plays Lt. Anita Van Buren on the show “Law & Order.” For more information or to view the seals, visit www. ChristmassSeals.org.