color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: HOLIDAY PACKAGES FOR SOLDIERS

Friday, November 24, 2006

HOLIDAY PACKAGES FOR SOLDIERS

2008 Information HERE


I noticed from my sitemeter that lots of people are searching for information on things to send soldiers for the holidays, so I'm bumping this up from last year...
Each year the United States Post Office (USPS) publishes a guideline for those shipping items to APO/FPO addresses at Christmas time. The military mail system is pushed to capacity during the holidays, so you should try to mail by the dates indicated -- but don't let that stop you from sending SOMETHING. Updated mailing dates can be found HERE.
Better hurry -- Dec. 4 is the date set for APO/Zips in 093 and the others are Dec. 11 (Express mail is a little later... but why risk the gifts not getting there in time?).
Now for those gift sugestions:
HOLIDAY PACKAGES FOR SOLDIERS

We all look forward to the holidays. We look forward to the comfort and happiness and nostalgia that the holidays bring and spending the time with our families. Imagine being thousands of miles away and having that day be like every other day... But you can make a difference to our soldiers...

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First let me say that if you do not know a soldier or marine or if putting together a package is something you're not comfortable with, there are a number of organizations that are making every effort to ensure that No Soldier Goes Unloved... and they could use a helping hand by means of donations, especially the wonderful Soldiers Angels Holiday Spirit for Heroes. You can give money or send Christmas stockings to be stuffed, or donations of goods to be used for stocking stuffers...

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For those looking for suggestions on things to send, here's a list -- certainly not comprehensive... use your imaginations -- if it's fun for you, it will be fun for soldiers and marines, sailors & airmen!

Christmas Stockings.
- Individual packets of hot chocolate, cider or hot soup mix…
- Candy (bite sized, individually wrapped, all kinds)
- AT&T Phone Cards
- Hand held games (battery games with batteries, please)
- Small puzzle books
- Small, signed Holiday cards from you and your families (include your name and address!)
- Cigarettes (no lectures, please. I don't smoke, but most soldiers we know do)
- Cigars (good ones!)
- Books (current titles are greatly appreciated
- Magazines (cars, trucks, men's health, exercise, business, computing...)
- Microwave food items (popcorn, all-in-one pan microwave deserts, heat & eat soups, etc.)
- Cereal bars
- Granola Bars
- Home baked goods (pack brownies and cakes in bread slices or package in tins and wrap in plastic wrap
-
Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Gift Cards
- Pre-paid gift cards or gift certificates from
American Express, Visa, Amazon.com, or from specific stores - Best Buy, Staples, Barnes & Noble, Circuit City, etc.) These soldiers have a range of things they need or want over the course of their deployments...

Holiday decorations. Look around your homes and see your most cherished reminders of the holidays... and replicate those for our troops.
- Garland
- Shatterproof ornaments
- Tinsel
- Lights (small wattage)
- Small artificial trees

Cold weather items (it's cool there now -- Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Germany -- and getting colder).
- Stocking caps (black only)
- Long sleeve t-shirts -- (M, L or XL) but must be Army brown...
Under Armour is preferred but also (less pricey) Dri-Release shirts (Soffee, Anvil, etc.) (but good luck finding them in brown). You can also order t-shirts and other deployment items at AAFES (click on the "Gift from the Homefront" icon in the right column!)

- Gloves (tactical gloves are preferred... which you can also find online or at gun stores or military or police supply stores)

- Lightweight fleece blankets.

DVDs, Music CDs... new releases are greatly coveted... and believe me, they pass them around and trade them so one DVD or one CD makes its way to a lot of soldiers...

Footballs, baseballs, baseball gloves, soccer balls, volleyballs...

Holiday Cards that they can send to friends and families back home (they do not need postage!)

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Now for some practical suggestions:

Use FLAT RATE BOXES from the US Postal Service. $8.10 no matter how heavy you make the boxes (don't use this if you're sending lightweight things -- but if you use these Flat Rate boxes stuff 'em as heavy as you can and get your money's worth!!)!

Mail Early!!

Be aware that soldiers have a limit on the amount of "stuff" they can bring back so hold off sending priceless heirlooms and bulky items if your soldier is redeploying soon.

RESTRICTIONS ON CONTENTS: If you are sending to Iraq or Afghanistan, DO NOT SEND ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: obscene articles such as prints, paintings, cards, films, videotapes, etc.; pork or pork by-products; alcoholic beverages; any matter depicting nude or seminude persons, pornographic or sexual items; or unauthorized political materials.

If contraband is found in a package, the entire contents may not be delivered!

SHOW YOU CARE AND DO JUST ONE THING FOR OUR TROOPS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON...
JUST ONE THING...

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5 Comments:

At 11/28/2005 4:38 PM , Blogger ~K said...

I found sending boxes of Holiday Greeting Cards to be a huge success. I also sent some All Occasion card boxes and they were just as appreciated.
These are great ideas. Thanks

 
At 11/25/2006 9:50 AM , Blogger Laurie said...

Great list! Thanks for posting it.

 
At 11/28/2006 2:20 PM , Blogger Army Wife said...

SSM,

Can I post this at SpouseBuzz? I think it is a great LIST!!

let me know!!

Thinking of you and yours this holiday season!!

 
At 12/08/2008 7:26 AM , Blogger Aimée said...

I would like to send a care package but don't have anyone to send it to. How can we "adopt" a soldier thanks!

 
At 12/08/2008 9:55 AM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

aimee... click on the link at the top of this post for the 2008 information... in that post are links to a number of organizations that have soldiers just waiting to be adopted!!

 

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