Thursday, August 25, 2011

Show Your Support. Send a Care Package to a Soldier

Sending care packages to overseas soldiers is a great way to show your support. Whether you are sending to a loved one, or to “Any Soldier”, it is sure to boost their morale. Here are some helpful ideas for sending the package.

1- Shop for items to go in the care package. This may be for a family member or you may be sending a generic care package to be forwarded to a military service person, who may not have much support on the home front.

2- Include in your care package a large variety of items such as non-perishable food and snacks like sunflower seeds, beef jerky, hard candy, gum and snack crackers. Useful items like toothpaste, hand lotion, baby powder, wet wipes, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, shampoo, chap-stick, disposable razors and bath soap are always appreciated as these are of better quality than the standard military issue equivalents. Also include CDs, DVDs, magazines, small games, note pads and pens. If you are preparing a care package for a family loved one, include personal items like photos, family videos, hand written letters and copies of the local newspaper.

3- Follow the restrictions established for military care packages. Do not send perishable foods or candies that melt. Alcohol is not permitted in care packages, nor is any type of firearm or weapon. Do not send any product that may be considered harmful or is in an aerosol spray can.

4- Use the guidelines established for the care package itself. The package cannot weigh more than 70 pounds. The box or container that is sent must be no more than 130 inches total combined girth and length. The completed care package needs to be sent by way of the United States Postal System by "Priority Mail." If not sent by Priority Mail, the package will take 8 weeks or even longer if during the holiday mailing period.

5- Make sure that you have the exact correct military address to mail your care package, as these packages will pass through the MPO or Military Post Office to be processed to the correct military base or location.

6- Join forces with other military families in the same unit as your loved one to work as a group to make sure that all the members of the unit have care packages arriving from home. Check with the home front commanding officer or the assigned contact to keep updated on the location of the military unit.

7- Talk to organizations in your community about doing service projects for various military units that may not have a lot of home front support. Groups like Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, Elks Lodges, some schools, church groups and business associations many times will take on care packages as a project and can send mass numbers of care packages at one time.

8- Get in touch with the USO. They can help you with addresses, etc.

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