The 125th Continental Congress is your chance to help set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title! The DAR will be staging an official attempt to set a world record by collecting the “Most letters to military personnel collected in one month.” In order to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title, DAR must collect and then mail at least 10,000 letters to active duty service members in one month’s time.
Please note that there are exceptionally strict participation rules that must be followed in order to qualify for the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ attempt. These are the procedures that must be followed for participation:
- All letters must be submitted in person during the week of Continental Congress. Please do not mail the letters on your own. Beginning now, members can start collecting letters within their chapters and communities, but they must all be brought to National Headquarters in June during the week of Congress. If you will not be attending Congress, please give your letters to a delegate from your chapter to submit on your behalf. Letters will only be accepted in person during the week of Congress and should not be mailed to Headquarters or to the address on the letter.
- Individuals may only personally write one letter each, but non-DAR members, such as family, friends and other community members, are also welcome to participate. There is no age restriction, so children may participate so long as all the letters meet the official guidelines. You are encouraged to collect as many letters as possible to bring to Congress! If you plan to work with a group of schoolchildren the return address on the envelope should be the school's address.
Every letter must contain three components:
- a greeting (e.g. Dear Soldier or Dear John Smith)
- an original message of support/ appreciation
- a closing (e.g. Love, Thanks, Sincerely) with a signature
- Each letter should be in an UNSEALED envelope. The envelope should bear a 49-cent first class U.S. postage stamp, your return name/address should be on the envelope and it should be addressed to one of the military personnel listed here or addressed to an active duty individual you know personally. Letters should not be addressed to generic military base addresses. Please use a specific individual or an address listed here. (Currently we do not have many addresses that will be available in July 2016, we recommend collecting letters now and adding addressing in the Spring months.) Letters must include all of these elements and be submitted at Congress or they are not eligible to be counted for the record. Please do not mail the letters on your own. While participants should only submit one letter each, multiple letters may be addresses to the same service member.
- Both stationery and cards can be used as long as they are submitted in a stamped and addressed envelope. All letters should be hand written and should be original submissions from each individual participant. No form letters, templates or Xerox copies may be submitted.
- All letters must be packaged in bundles of 50 and securely bound with rubber bands when they are submitted at Congress. This bundling is essential to establishing the official count.
- When you arrive at Continental Congress, there will be designated stations where you submit your bundles of letters and the bundles of your fellow chapter members. There will be a log book for you to sign and a volunteer to accept your letters at each station.
- An official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Adjudicator will be opening and inspecting random samples during the verification process. It is essential that every letter submitted follow these rules or it will be discarded by the adjudicator and not counted toward the record. DAR will seal and finalize the letters for mailing after the close of Congress.
Learn more about this exciting opportunity at the 125th Continental Congress:
Do you think we can set the record by collecting 10,000 letters? Of course we can! Don’t miss this opportunity to help DAR establish a world record in patriotism!