Sunday, September 11, 2011

A little about Soldiers' Angels and my care packages!

If you couldn't tell by my previous post, I have three adopted soldiers. I adopted them through Soldiers' Angels. Soldiers' Angels is a non-profit organization that matches people to deployed soldiers who need support while away from their homes and family. You're obligated for a year to write a weekly letter and send a monthly package. You can ask any person who has served overseas and they will tell you that getting a care package from home was well needed!

Sign up was easy. You're asked to make a small donation (at least a dollar) to become verified. Once you are a verified angel, you can adopt up to 3 soldiers. Now, you get an address and you can write to your soldier about anything. Tell them about yourself, your hobbies, funny stories. At some point in the letter, give them words of encouragement. You may or may not hear back from your soldiers. I signed up in July and have just recently heard back from two of my three soldiers. Don't let this discourage you! Remember these men and women are busy and often away from the base for days at a time.

We all live hectic busy lives, so it may be hard to make a commitment to a weekly letter. Consider going in with a group of co-workers or your entire office to adopt one or two soldiers. Put a box out for people to drop off items and letters to be sent. Designate one or two people to do the shipping and collecting. Because Soldiers' Angels is a non-profit, your company may be able to write it off as a charitable donation (please see tax laws as I'm not exactly sure if this is true!). 

If the commitment is too much, you can get involved in other ways! You can always make a one time purchase of a care package to be sent a soldier on the waiting list. Organize a supply drive or send a one time care package. You can also join the letter writing team or one of the many groups that work with this progam.

Now that I've told you about the program, you can click the link on the right side of my blog for more information! I just want to show you everything that can fit in a large flat rate box. Also, when you ship to a military address, it's two dollars off the large flat rate price.

So here's what my first soldier, who sent back his survey, is getting. That weird wrapped up thing in the upper right hand corner is laundry detergent that I wrapped with tape and plastic bags so it wouldn't leak on anything. A flying disc, a wood plane glider and an inflatable monkey (just some fun little toys). A package of drink mixes. 3 suckers. Box of envelopes. A notebook. Toothbrush. Deodorant (I bought twin packs and broke them up keeping the extra for Todd). A cooling bandanna. The two books (he likes Star Wars and Sci-Fi) were free as Todd doesn't want to read the series. My soldier asked for boxer shorts and some undershirts.

All packed in! The other packages will have the same stuff except the books, detergent, boxers and undershirts. Because I don't know what they need and I don't want to sent too much (space is limited in their barracks usually), I'll probably send some edibles or a magazine or two.

I hope someone reading this may decide on adopting a soldier or getting involved.

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