Etiquette Hell

The Good Things in Life => Extending the hand of kindness => Topic started by: Venus193 on May 09, 2007, 08:20:42 PM

Title: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 09, 2007, 08:20:42 PM
With all the news stories about more troops being sent over, the need will be escalating.  It blows my mind.

Supporters:  How is it going?

My big update:  Two of my groups have been sent home.  The Medevac fliers went home last week and another small group stationed in Afghanistan went home a little before that.  The female Marine from New Jersey hasn't posted back to the site and I didn't get another letter from her.  I know they're not required to write back but since most of them do I am concerned.

Remember the Betty Crocker microwaveable brownies mentioned in the old thread?  I found them in a dollar store in my neighborhood this afternoon and bought 10 of them for the group in Baghdad I send stuff to every other week.

My new office neighborhood had a fabulous dollar store and a Cosmetic Market store with amazing discounts on things like sunblock.  I also just ordered 25 bottles of mint shower gel from Yves Rocher.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Lisbeth on May 09, 2007, 09:01:42 PM
If I'm free this weekend, I'll finally have a chance to participate.  (I got called to report for jury duty tomorrow morning, already been postponed...  ::))

I'm thinking about sending small office supplies, like pens and pencils.  We'll see.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 09, 2007, 09:56:39 PM
Have you found a group to send to?  I haven't sent office supplies yet, but I found some lovely writing paper and envelopes to send to the women in the Baghdad group.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: jais on May 09, 2007, 10:38:20 PM
I can have a group from MN tomorrow if you'd like............ Just let me know.  We sent BF about 4 care packages while he was there (2003, initial invasion) and both of us would like to participate.....

**Modified for spelling as it was past my bedtime.  :) **
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 09, 2007, 10:59:46 PM
Just so everyone knows, this is the best site for advice and for finding someone who needs our help:

http://www.anysoldier.com/

The site also needs help.  I contributed $50 last month to keep it going.

I have to say that it feels good to know that this is appreciated.  I get notes from Baghdad all the time about the most ordinary stuff... likes Drakes snacks.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: jais on May 09, 2007, 11:02:03 PM
What are Drake's Snacks??
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 09, 2007, 11:05:03 PM
http://www.drakescake.com/

They're on sale in my area at the moment, so I might be sending more sooner than I thought.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: jais on May 09, 2007, 11:08:00 PM
OH!! They look/sound just like Little Debbie's!
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 09, 2007, 11:11:14 PM
They're a little more expensive, and the good thing is that there are a few things that don't have icing on them.  This time of year it's 100 degrees in the shade in most of the places of deployment and you shouldn't send anything that melts on the way.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Ehelldame on May 10, 2007, 06:16:14 AM
My soldier and his unit came home the end of March.  No loss of life in that unit during the six month tour.

Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 10, 2007, 08:09:10 AM
That's fabulous, Miss Jeanne.  My Baghdad group is there until the end of the year.  I have committed myself to sending them stuff every two weeks until the end of their deployment.  They have suffered no losses so far despite what's going on over there.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: retreadbride on May 10, 2007, 09:16:20 AM
This is what I used to send to friends in the Navy who were out at sea:
Jars of peanut butter
Can of Wyler's lemonade mix
Honey-roasted peanuts
Hard candy
Chewing gum
Tootsie roll pops
Boxes of snack crackers
Shortbread cookies (Pecan Sandies were also a fave)
Paperback books
Skip-Bo and Uno

Always a big hit.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 10, 2007, 11:08:13 AM
I've wondered about peanut butter.  Next time I go to my client I can get huge ones for almost no money at all.

The thing I'm most often thanked for is the junk food.  At least half the postcards I get are about that.  More recently I sent (20) 6 oz. cans of Bumble Bee tuna when I found them at 2/$1 with boxes of Triscuit crackers and "jars" of lemon adobo.  Sgt Jean sent a nice e-mail telling me how much the guys appreciated that.

I might send an extra package this weekend to beat the postal rate increase, as the stuff crowds my apartment.  I buy a lot of stuff when I see bargains that could disappear quickly.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 13, 2007, 10:56:00 AM
Update:  The Baghdad group's deployment has been extended by three months.  They will have to be there through Christmas, which is depressing them.

I ended up sending 40 of the Betty Crocker things to them yesterday along with some more Drakes and some humanitarian supplies.

When I go out in a little while I will probably pick up some toothbrushes and other things for my next packages to them, which I will be sending in two weeks.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: afbluebelle on May 18, 2007, 12:28:44 AM
Anyone know a good place to get addresses?

Our group that we were supporting (Army Base next door) came back, so I have no one to send stuff to anymore.  Care packages are almost more fun to send than to get... almost. (My bunkmate would have fried to a crisp without them, the px runs out of sunblock QUICK)
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 18, 2007, 08:08:37 AM
Anyone know a good place to get addresses?

Go to post #4 and click on the link.  Make sure to choose someone who has posted to that site recently.  You can even search by what people are looking for so if you have 100 sci-fi novels to dispose of, you can find guys who want them.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 20, 2007, 10:37:05 AM
Announcement:

On June 4th Bath and Body Works starts its month-long semi-annual sale with bargains up to 75% off.  That's a great boon to those of us who send stuff to military women.  If you send regularly to the same group you can stock up for the next six months.
Title: Re: A Question
Post by: Venus193 on May 21, 2007, 12:29:57 PM
In the other thread someone mentioned that flesh-toned and clear nail polish are OK.  What's the word on French Manicures?

A store near my office has the Sally Hansen FM kits at $2 each.  If this is allowed I think these would do a lot for the morale of the 8 women in the group I support, as their assignment has just been extended by 3 months.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: afbluebelle on May 22, 2007, 12:28:46 AM
French manicures are okay, you just cannot have a nail length that impedes with your job duties. 

I should have mentioned neutral colors, it basically cannot be unnatural (bright red, black, green, blue, etc.)  They are okay with a light brown or a sparkly topcoat as well.  But I am sure the young ladies will love the french manicure sets!

Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 22, 2007, 08:55:28 AM
That's what I thought.  I will be in that store at lunch time!

Edited to add:  Bought 8 of them and four jars of non-acetone remover pads.  I may send them next time because I have a lot to send this week already, but I think they will be pleased enough with the Yves Rocher floral body washes and Bath and Body Works creams.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: mrsbarrett on May 29, 2007, 04:48:30 PM
All,
I just stumbled on this thread and I got really choked up because I didn't realize there were so many people supporting our deployed Americans. I recently returned from a deployment to Iraq and I can tell you that you all have great ideas. However, I just read the post letting everyone know that Bath and Body Works is having a sale. I love B&BW but realistically, it's the LAST thing us women are looking for. Sure the smell is nice, but the bugs like it A LOT and it's a nightmare wearing anything that has a scent. Every once and a while it's great to "girl up" but for day-to-day stuff, soap and lotions that are unscented are really the best bet. Also, batteries are very important. Most places do not have lighting for force protection reasons, so batteries in flashlights are in big demand because they get used so often - saves us from tripping over everything! A list of most-needed items: Gold Bond (or similar) medicated powder for our smelly, overused feet; disposable razors and shaving cream because water is a premium and we can only take 3-5 minute showers (when available); unscented wipes; FDS (or similar)  feminine wipes/spray/powder for obvious reasons; LIP BALM!!; bug spray; Raid (if possible); sunblock; and finally - something you've made!! We get all sorts of things people have made and they mean more to us than all the candy you could send. Schools send us pictures and cards that kids have drawn and we always put them up on the walls. Everything over there is brown - the ground, the landscape, our uniforms, the buildings, the cars - you love to see color every once and a while.

If you are interested in sending something to help the children of these countries, ask your "adopted" troop to send you the address of the Chaplain's office, civil affairs team or the local Provincial Reconstruction Team. The place I was deployed to provided school supplies to Iraqi children. I can't even begin to describe to you the look on these kids' faces when you hand them a backpack with school supplies in it. It's something I wish I could share with each and every one of you. It really hits home how much we as Americans take for granted. They need backpacks (small, inexpensive ones), pens, pencils, notebooks, rulers, pencil cases, construction paper, erasers, soccer balls, markers - pretty much anything you buy for your kids for school, they need. The only consideration to have is the supplies can't have any religious connotations. Disney is OK but keep an eye out for half-naked mermaids (Ariel) or princesses (Jasmine)! Some things they get are very iffy.

Again - thanks for all you've done! I would like to let you all know that the care packages you are sending are truly making a difference in our lives. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 29, 2007, 05:40:03 PM
Thanks, Mrs Barrett.

My adopted group hasn't requested batteries thus far, but I will e-mail my contact to ask about this.  They appear to be in an office building in a compound.  The things they write the most thank-you notes for are the snack cakes and candy.  I just sent a huge box of Drakes' products over the weekend.

Foot care products are on the shopping list.  I send disposable razors and baby wipes regularly, as I can get these in the dollar store.  The one thing that gives me anxiety is anything in an aerosol can, so I haven't sent aerosol shaving cream yet.  I sent some Axe deodorant a few days ago; if it doesn't explode in the plane I know that shaving cream is safe.

Thanks for the heads-up about Disney images; that's very important.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: DottyG on May 30, 2007, 05:27:24 PM
All,
I just stumbled on this thread and I got really choked up because I didn't realize there were so many people supporting our deployed Americans. I recently returned from a deployment to Iraq and I can tell you that you all have great ideas. However, I just read the post letting everyone know that Bath and Body Works is having a sale. I love B&BW but realistically, it's the LAST thing us women are looking for. Sure the smell is nice, but the bugs like it A LOT and it's a nightmare wearing anything that has a scent. Every once and a while it's great to "girl up" but for day-to-day stuff, soap and lotions that are unscented are really the best bet. Also, batteries are very important. Most places do not have lighting for force protection reasons, so batteries in flashlights are in big demand because they get used so often - saves us from tripping over everything! A list of most-needed items: Gold Bond (or similar) medicated powder for our smelly, overused feet; disposable razors and shaving cream because water is a premium and we can only take 3-5 minute showers (when available); unscented wipes; FDS (or similar)  feminine wipes/spray/powder for obvious reasons; LIP BALM!!; bug spray; Raid (if possible); sunblock; and finally - something you've made!! We get all sorts of things people have made and they mean more to us than all the candy you could send. Schools send us pictures and cards that kids have drawn and we always put them up on the walls. Everything over there is brown - the ground, the landscape, our uniforms, the buildings, the cars - you love to see color every once and a while.

If you are interested in sending something to help the children of these countries, ask your "adopted" troop to send you the address of the Chaplain's office, civil affairs team or the local Provincial Reconstruction Team. The place I was deployed to provided school supplies to Iraqi children. I can't even begin to describe to you the look on these kids' faces when you hand them a backpack with school supplies in it. It's something I wish I could share with each and every one of you. It really hits home how much we as Americans take for granted. Here's the address for Operation School Supplies operating out of northern Iraq in the town of Kirkuk:

Operation Provide School Supplies
506th AEG Chaplain
APO AE 09359

They need backpacks (small, inexpensive ones), pens, pencils, notebooks, rulers, pencil cases, construction paper, erasers, soccer balls, markers - pretty much anything you buy for your kids for school, they need. The only consideration to have is the supplies can't have any religious connotations. Disney is OK but keep an eye out for half-naked mermaids (Ariel) or princesses (Jasmine)! Some things they get are very iffy.

Again - thanks for all you've done! I would like to let you all know that the care packages you are sending are truly making a difference in our lives. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

MrsB, thank YOU.  You just don't know how much hearing from someone over there means.  So many of the people we're sending stuff to can't write back - for obvious reasons - they're trying to stay alive.  They can't be taking time to write letters, too.  They have more important things to do right now.  And, rightfully so.

But, hearing from someone like you means a lot.  The things we're sending DO matter.  They're not in vain.  Your words are a wonderful "thank you", and I'm so glad you posted.

And, thanks for giving us a "heads up" on what's really crucially needed there.  Any advice you can give us here really helps.

Again, thanks!  And, welcome home. :)

Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Lisbeth on May 30, 2007, 11:10:02 PM
Have you found a group to send to?  I haven't sent office supplies yet, but I found some lovely writing paper and envelopes to send to the women in the Baghdad group.

Unfortunately, not yet.  I'll do that by the end of this week.  I got delayed due to being selected for jury duty (the case is still going on...sigh)
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on May 31, 2007, 12:32:59 PM
My sympathies.  I had to report about three years ago, so I may have to next year.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: hobish on June 16, 2007, 05:02:09 AM

Venus,

When i started reading this thread i couldn't keep reading without crying. I spent a brief time in the military, and have a lot of family  who were in various branches.

Thank you for posting the tips about putting food and hygeine products in seperate boxes. I wouldn't have thought about that. Soap flavored brownies - yum!!   :P

i haven't sent anything yet. I've passed on to friends anysoldier.com, though, and more organized people have got stuff together.

You rock.



Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on June 16, 2007, 04:35:22 PM
Thanks.  In the almost six months I've been doing this I've had three groups go home safely, so I'm now down to one and I've been extra generous to them since finding out that their deployment has been extended.  I've gotten so many cards from different soldiers thanking me for the most mundane things we take for granted.  These are tougher people than I ever could have been and I respect them enormously for it.

I came up with a few additonal rules for myself, including not sending anything packed in glass (except for small cosmetic items like nail polish) because it needs too much padding and any hard candy I send has to be individually wrapped pieces, like Jolly Ranchers or bagged Life Savers.

The men's body sprays I sent arrived safely, so I am rethinking the shave cream.  I can get Barbasol in the dollar store, which is my best source for razors.

I have also just discovered that the flat rate Priority boxes don't save me any money.  I must live closer to the nearest base than I thought; I sent a box last week that weighed 26 lbs and the Priority postage was only about $14-15.  The box of men's soap that I sent weighted 22 lbs and cost $12.50.  I don't think I've been able to get more than 9 lbs into the flat rate box unless it was cans of tuna fish.  I therefore advise everyone to not only keep their postage receipts (as this is all tax-deductible), but study them on the non-flat rate boxes.  If it costs less than a dollar a pound to send anything, the flat rate box doesn't save you anything unless you put really heavy things into it, and bottles of shampoo just weren't enough.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Lisbeth on June 18, 2007, 10:50:42 PM
Now that I finally have time to do this (jury duty is over for the next six years), I'm wondering exactly how to go about it.

From what I've read, it sounds like you pick a soldier, put together a package, take it to the post office, and send it.

When you (generic) make up a package, how big is it?  Is it for one soldier or a whole unit?  If I know that, it'll help me figure out how much to include and where to send it.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on June 19, 2007, 09:58:56 AM
Check the person's page for how many people s/he signed on to help.  Send as much as you can, but don't send a HUGE box and try to keep the weight under 20 lbs.

I sent a 25-lb box last weekend with toiletries for 15 women, but you don't have to go overboard.  As the site says, it's better to send smaller boxes frequently than huge ones occasionally.

Smallish groups are best.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Belle on June 21, 2007, 11:39:22 AM
Just a note that if you send hard candies right now, there's a good chance they'll melt. (Hubby is over there right now and was telling me that even the hard candies are melting in the heat.)

On a lark, I sent a bunch of cheap waterguns over there, not even sure if they could use them. (They are in a desert, after all!) Apparently the guys loved them and went running off with them as soon as he pulled them out of the package.

And I second something that Mrs. Barrett said--Gold bond-type foot powders are always needed, as are, um, lessee if there's a polite way to say this, er, powders/creams for jock itch as well. (Nope, no polite way to say that.)

Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on June 21, 2007, 01:04:20 PM
Waterguns sound like an excellent idea.  How expensive are the "assault rifle" types?  Considering the size, those might actually be expensive to ship.

I sent some hard candies last weekend; I will e-mail the person and ask her to let me know about their arrival condition.  Since she's in an air-conditioned building that might help.  I also think she's the first stop on the plane's route because she gets the stuff so quickly.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Belle on June 21, 2007, 02:08:53 PM
Waterguns sound like an excellent idea.  How expensive are the "assault rifle" types?  Considering the size, those might actually be expensive to ship.

I actually bought the small, very inexpensive water pistols, because they were easier to fit in the box and send. I think I paid maybe $2 for a bag of 4.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Lisbeth on June 25, 2007, 10:03:23 PM
Well, tonight I bought some office supplies, and I'll pick a soldier and send them out this week.

My package will be fairly small, but it'll contain a box of pencils, a box of erasers, a package of pens, some Post-its, packages of AA and AAA batteries, one pad of paper (small legal size), one package of Wite-out, and a package of CD-RWs.  Not too heavy, and hopefully all things that the person who receives them (or their unit mates) can use.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on June 25, 2007, 11:17:51 PM
Believe me, Jen, they will find these things useful!
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Lisbeth on June 26, 2007, 09:20:06 PM
Tonight I picked a nurse in the Army who is serving in Afghanistan and will send the supplies tomorrow.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Wonderflonium on June 29, 2007, 08:00:35 AM
i just wanted to thank you all for posting this stuff and letting me know about anysoldier.com. i was really inspired by all the support people here are sending. my friends who were overseas have returned home safely (thankfully), and i was looking for a way to continue to support the troops. last night after work i went to the dollar store and spent $67 on various personal hygiene products and snack foods (i found not only pringles but also fritos, cheetos, and doritoes in cardboard cans, which i think will be great for shipping). i can't wait to send it all out!
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on June 29, 2007, 08:11:22 AM
That's great.  I've become famous at two post offices for my packages; this can become an addiction, but it's a good addiction for a shopaholic who normally buys more than she needs herself.

I'm about to ship three boxes today, two of them to two new names.  I have a project that I will tell you guys more about when the results come in.

In the meantime, my Baghdad contact told me that the hard candy arrived intact, so she might be the first stop on the way.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: ItZWhoUKnow on June 29, 2007, 08:12:54 AM
We have finally been given the green light to start sending mail, so yesterday I sent out my first (well, first this time around) box to my hubby.
I sent him an alarm clock, extra batteries to run the darn thing, a movie, two containers of drink mix and a towel to cushion all of the stuff.
One can never have too many towels. :)


loriega~ I put this in the other thread but if you want a good way for things to get there and not be crushed go to a thrift store and get old cookie tins or the plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store. It's also a nice way to divide hygiene and food items....
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on June 29, 2007, 03:34:43 PM
Containers for cookies and similar food items are essential.  Also, make sure nothing moves inside the box, but don't pack it so tight the box bulges!
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Lisbeth on June 29, 2007, 05:21:53 PM
I finally sent my package out today!  It is going to an Air Force nurse in Afghanistan.  (My father and uncle are Air Force veterans.)
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on June 29, 2007, 07:27:37 PM
I'm about to update my package records.  Sometime this summer I will have to go through all my postal receipts to marry them to the packages they refer to.  I don't want to have to wait until April to do this.

The thank-you cards are pouring in from the Baghdad group for the Bath and Body Works packages (For anyone concerned about flies, I've been sending fly ribbons on a regular basis!).  I can't stay out of those stores, so I have more stuff to send yet again.  I've been trying to send matched sets of things even though they didn't expect me to (It's a Libra thing, like even numbers) and I've gotten very fond of the #7 priority boxes.

Yesterday I found a huge bargain in hard candy:  Rolls of Life Savers essentially for 10 cents each.

I'm sure they will be very happy with the Crystal Light on the Go shipment I sent this evening.  I wonder if they have to drink everything at room temperature?
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: jamiescudder on July 10, 2007, 04:43:08 AM
I'm thrilled to have found this thread. Right now I have a cousin in Afghanistan and his brother is in Djibouti. I want to send each of them care packages as a surprise, but I wasn't sure what to send. My grandma sends homemade cookies overseas regularly which inspired me to do something. (Although probably not on the same scale as her. She sends enough cookies for everybody that the recipient knows to have at least two.) Thanks for all the good ideas!
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on July 10, 2007, 08:13:13 AM
Did you see the earlier one?  That has even more ideas in it:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=2403.0

This morning I posted 20 bottles of mint shower gel to my group in Baghdad.  I don't know how helpful that is when it's 116 in the shade, but I always feel refreshed after using it myself.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: jamiescudder on July 10, 2007, 02:13:47 PM
Thanks! :D
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Wonderflonium on July 13, 2007, 03:55:07 PM
I just got my boxes today (finally) and I'm packaging stuff to send. I tried to fill out a customs form online, but it's asking for a phone number for the recipient. Anyone know what I should do?
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on July 13, 2007, 04:17:09 PM
I wish I did, but I've never filled out one of those online.  The 6-part carbon form I fill out doesn't require it.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Wonderflonium on July 13, 2007, 05:07:34 PM
I wish I did, but I've never filled out one of those online.  The 6-part carbon form I fill out doesn't require it.

thanks. i guess i'll just do it at the post office (i was trying to save time  :) ).

a few more questions:

1. Are the boxes typically given to one person, or are they opened and the items distributed? I assumed it was the latter, but I wanted to check.
2. Also, this group wanted hygiene products and snacks (as most do), so to keep things from getting (for lack of a better word) yucky, I'm sending them two separate boxes. Is this OK and/or normal?

any feedback would be appreciated!
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Wonderflonium on July 13, 2007, 05:19:49 PM
One more thing: I got flat-rate boxes, but they seem a bit small (especially for some of the snack containers I have). Any ideas where I can get bigger boxes? I had no luck at Wal-Mart or K-Mart.

(Sorry for all the questions; I just really want to do this right.)
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on July 13, 2007, 06:01:42 PM
Separate boxes for hygiene products and snacks is absolutely recommended.  In the event that the box sits for three weeks in 110-degree heat you don't want the cookies to taste like the soap.  The only exception to that is packages of razors or anything that isn't chemically-based, if you don't have other hygiene products going at that moment.

There are other boxes at the post office that are free.  Ask for Priority Box #7 which is 12x12x8 inches.  That's my favorite one for toiletries.  For snacks I like the 12x12x18 ones I buy at Staples.  They're sold at 3 for 11.95.

I stopped using the flat-rate boxes when I discovered that I wasn't saving any money.  This morning I sent three #7 boxes, total weight about 62 pounds, for $37 total postage.  Flat rate boxes are meant for ebay sellers for the ease of calculating postage, but they are unlikely to hold enough heavy supplies to make it cost-effective for me.  Check the postal rates from your area:  Unless you pay more than a dollar a pound the flat-rate boxes aren't worth it.

Finally, anything you send to a person found through AnySoldier.com is shared.  Many soldiers who receive stuff from family share it, too.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on July 13, 2007, 06:21:40 PM
You're welcome.

Don't forget to assign a value to the package contents and save your customs forms and postal receipts (and receipts for boxes, tape, and ziplock bags) for your income taxes.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: hobish on July 14, 2007, 04:32:23 AM

I'm not sure if this belongs exactly here, but i wanted to tell you that my job picked up on this or a similar project. They are handing out large zipper-lock bags to the employees to put items in and the company is paying the shipping charges to send items to the US troops.

We haven't met our goal of volume contributed; but we're getting there.

For those who might argue about this being done in the work-place, it is very very low pressure. People can pick up bags in the cafeteria and redeposit them in boxes where they will be later prepared for shipping with no one knowing who did or didn't contribute.

The community programs that my corporate masters do, especially the ones that are suggested by the employees are done well and done often and i think it is one of the better things about working for them.

I'm especially happy that we're doing this.

Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on July 14, 2007, 06:17:15 AM
That's a great thing.

If I had a higher title I would advocate in my industry that we do this.  At the very least most ad agencies receive comp issues of consumer magazines that can easily be collected and sent to the troops.  Many of us also have clients who make products popular with the military.  I had hoped that when my client reacted enthusiastically that she would initiate something within her company, but she is weak on follow-through.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Lisbeth on July 14, 2007, 11:54:31 PM
I noticed that a lot of the service members in the website are asking for water guns.

I wouldn't have thought those were allowed.  Other kinds of "fun" items, yes, but not those because of their resemblance (superficially) to working firearms.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: afbluebelle on July 15, 2007, 03:43:12 AM
I always thought they meant the little neon ones (easier to ship).

I got two new addresses!  Both Marines, and all men squads... I'm so darn used to sending guys care packages from all my friends.  This is the first time that we've all been at our home stations at once, so I figured I would adopt a few troops. 

Mine requested Silly String ;D   Although it is used for a good purpose, when you see a request for silly tring and condoms, it makes you giggle.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on July 15, 2007, 06:54:52 AM
UPDATE:

Check out this article reviewing water guns (I had no clue they could be this sophisticated):

http://www.slate.com/id/2170024/pagenum/all/#page_start
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Wonderflonium on July 17, 2007, 02:33:22 PM
Mine requested Silly String ;D   Although it is used for a good purpose, when you see a request for silly tring and condoms, it makes you giggle.

I mailed my first 2 packages on Saturday (yay!), and when they were weighing it, they asked me if it contained a standard list of things, including silly string. Is it no longer OK to send this?

For various reasons, I ended up at 2 different post offices (long story), but only the first asked about the silly string.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on July 17, 2007, 02:45:37 PM
I don't know about Silly String, but there has always been a problem sending things in an aerosol can.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: afbluebelle on July 17, 2007, 09:55:34 PM
I've never had a problem shipping it... but I am not sure.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Lisbeth on July 23, 2007, 05:55:57 PM
I heard back from my soldier today.  They really liked the office supplies, especially the CDs, because they have lots of pictures and music they want to share.  It sounds like the pens were really popular too.

Perhaps next time I'll try the water guns. :)

Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on July 24, 2007, 08:32:42 AM
I'm going to start looking for them in the cheap stores in my area.

I have more Mentha body wash to send this week.  The women in the group I support are thrilled with the B&BW products.  I did go a little overboard, I do admit.

Question for everyone:  I have a lot of movies to send which can be divided into Epics and Popcorn movies (mostly guy stuff).  Send 2 or 3 themed packages or mix it up?
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: hobish on August 25, 2007, 12:43:25 AM

 A woman i work with is in the reserves and so is her husband. She just got back from both sets of military training for nursing, and he has been in Iraq for three weeks of a few months tour. She took a package to our mailroom at work to send him and the postage was free. Our corporate masters are paying for anything going to an APO address. How cool is that?

Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on August 25, 2007, 06:37:02 AM
That's great.

I sent a box of iced tea mix to my group the other day.  Heavier stuff has to wait until next weekend because my right knee was giving me grief this week.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Wonderflonium on October 17, 2007, 01:34:37 PM
I sent packages to 2 different units.  Yesterday, I got mail from one of them! Apparently, everyone liked what I sent. The person collecting the packages wrote to me and included a separate thank you from one of the other soldiers in his unit. I'm so happy!
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: Venus193 on October 17, 2007, 01:37:19 PM
That's wonderful.  I'm sending a 5th box of Halloween candy and treats on Friday morning.  I just bought some cute little Double Bubble miniature gumball machines for that box.
Title: Re: Military Care Packages: Part II
Post by: mlkind1789 on October 22, 2007, 09:49:15 PM
I always thought they meant the little neon ones (easier to ship).

I got two new addresses!  Both Marines, and all men squads... I'm so darn used to sending guys care packages from all my friends.  This is the first time that we've all been at our home stations at once, so I figured I would adopt a few troops. 

Mine requested Silly String ;D   Although it is used for a good purpose, when you see a request for silly tring and condoms, it makes you giggle.

Don't forget tampons.  My nephew's wife sent me an article about the medics over there using them for bullet injuries and loving them.  I can't send anything to nephew for another week (they were in Kuwait and Army wanted us to wait until they actually got to Yusafia-I have no idea if I spelled that correctly) but I will probably drop a couple of packages to him before too much longer.

So far all he has asked for is beef jerky, jolly ranchers, starburst and baby wipes.  Back in September he went and spoke to my 9yo dd's 3rd grade class and now they are making birthday cards to send him next month.  They are so excited because they are making writing to him and his unit a class project for the whole year.  We're going to be making "cool ties" later on, I just have to get my sewing machine fixed first.   :-[

He sent my oldest dd an email a couple of days ago and he was so excited because he had been there for over two weeks, and had just seen a tree for the first time over there.