The Good Things in Life > Extending the hand of kindness

The Care Package Project -- an Update

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I sent a 12 lb box of snacks to Iraq last week and got a thank-you e-mail from the addressee (a supply sergeant).  All for Entenmann's Little Bites, Quaker granola bars, bite-size Milky Ways, and Craisins.  With a couple of DVDs thrown in for good measure.

I just received a postcard from a marine corporal thanking me for the package I sent two weeks ago, saying that she will feel "home" while reading the magazines and books I sent.

The point of this post isn't to throw bouquets at myself or solicit them from you guys, but to explain that we take so much for granted in our (mostly) comfortable homes.  We don't have to know what it's like to not have a piping-hot, home-cooked meal or to not be able to run to the corner store for a package of cookies whenever we feel like it.  Being a native New Yorker who can buy almost anything anytime it is almost unimaginable to me that there are people in this world who volunteer to put themselves in this postion and risk their lives at the same time.

From now on I will look at everyday things a bit differently.

I have a large library and when I moved, I culled through my books and sent about 6 boxes to the troops through Books for Soldiers.  I had only 'women-themed' books left and found a unit in Baghdad asking for books for women (they said they were sick of reading Maxim magazine).  I sent a large box and got a thank you letter from the morale office.  I like to think of my library circulating around Iraq and Afghanistan.

I have a ton of romance novels, some of which are going to female soldiers whose names I am getting from  That seems to be the most active site for this.  Of course, when I read about what they need that isn't being adequately supplied I was aghast.

Thank the gods for dollar stores.

I will shortly be sending a special movie package to a Navy ship, since my dad was a Navy man during WWII.  I'm wondering how long that will take.

For the benefit of anyone who wants to do this, I was told the other day by a man who had recently served in Iraq that care packages typically take 3-5 weeks to get to their destinations.  The exceptions would be the first stop on the cargo plane's run.

Xanthia, Maker of fine Tin-foil hats since 2007:
Jellybean and I had decided to put aside $100.00 for soldier boxes, unfortunatley, the tornadoes hit and we are using that money for Tornado relief, we will be able to di it in a month or so, we are looking forward to shopping for our boxes!!!

The strangest food request I saw was "Fun Dip", I will make sure to send over a bunch, LOL!

Xanthia, the more I read the posts on that site the more I realize that we are comparatively spoiled.  I think of that every time I'm in a dollar store or drug store. 

Some service people have microwaves while others don't have the ability to heat or cook any food, so they eat stuff directly from the packaging.  I occasionally see posts from people looking for Ramen noodle packs, which is probably the extent of their ability to cook under these conditions.  I can imagine how good their families' food must taste to them when they go home on leave.

Microwave containers are an item on some people's lists.  My favorite Chinese take-out place has great ones and I wash them diligently after use.  I haven't sent any yet, but probably will when I've cumed a dozen or so.  Along with plastic cutlery.

Remember to ziplock everything and don't send toiletries and food together in the same box.  No chocolate after next month (it will melt).

Lil Debbie snacks are popular, cheap, and easy to pack.

Based on my reading of that site, I think that those located in Iraq and Afghanistan are the ones most in need.

I am now wondering how long packages take to get to Navy ships.  I hope somebody here knows.   :-\


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