Many of you may not know I served 6 years on active duty in the Navy. In 2003 when the war in Iraq started my ship was deployed to the gulf. I was a corpsman/medic.
Most deployments were a minimum of 6 months, many are a year or more. It is an isolating time. Very little contact with family or friends, because the mail can take up to 5 weeks or more to arrive. They only deliver mail once a week or so depending on the location of your units, access and safety. When troops are out on jobs/tours they don't have access to run to the local store for some more toothpaste, or socks. They don't have the basics let alone any extras. They rely on those few packages that arrive. The arrival of packages is so exciting, it is a little piece of home and of love. The few reminders we have that someone has thought of us when most days we don't have a minute to think of ourselves let alone our loved ones.
It is that time of year again... Every year I try to raise donations for our troops through an official non-profit association. This is a Tax deductable donation.
There are MANY ways to participate. This is our chance to pay it forward and to make sure all of our deployed and injured troops feel our love during the holidays.
This is the website with TONS of information on their non-profit status and where donations can be sent, HUGE lists of items they could use etc.
Are you a school teacher? They LOVE receiving hand drawn/painted items from kids. Get your class to send a box of hand notes from the kids.
Are you short on money yourself and don't know how to help? Send your used books, and magazines. They love to read a readers digest, to US News, to a novel. Don't forget there are a lot of women deployed now too, so even your old romance novels could be sent. Help clean out your house, and pay it forward to someone in need.
The dollar store is a really good place to go. For 1 dollar you can find packs of things. They need socks, to handheld games, bibles, books etc. All can be found for one single dollar.
Another very affordable site that has 1000's of items is:
Do you sew? They need hygiene bags for the hospitals.
Support our Troops by sewing a Hygiene Bag
Free Patterns and Information:
Other sewing projects include:
Cool scarves - Travel Pillows - Back & Neck warmers - Draw string Bags
Neck gators - Twin Size Quilts For more info contact:
Debbie @ email@example.com
If you don't want to shop, or ship items you can simply make a cash donation to this organization for a tax deductible donation.
Things to keep in mind. There are extreme heat conditions in the middle east, so food shouldn't be meltable, everything should be individually wrapped.
This organization has a list of specific names of troops to send these donations too. As many of you know you can not send a random package just addressed to a base, or unit. There has to be a recipient named on the package, and this organization does that.
You can also submit the name of someone you know to be on their list.
All donations/packages can be mailed here: DEADLINE THANKSGIVING Nov. 24th. Have to arrive to them no later than November 24th!!
Operation Care Package
611 Wilcox St.
Joliet, Il. 60435
I live in Maryland so I also try to do my part for the local troops that are injured and unable to go home. Being a corpsman/medic makes me more aware of the needs of those in hospitals with injuries. I live near Walter Reed Army Hospital which is where most injured troops go if they are seriously injured. I also only live 10 minutes from Andrews Air Force base where they have 2 fisher houses. Fisher houses are literally houses where they have injured troops AND their families. This way the injured person isn't alone, they can go through therapy with their children and spouses. But they are unable to go home because of their injuries. I try to gather donations for theses locations that are frequently over looked by the big organizations.
If you are interested in helping some of the local troops please send me an e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The deadline for the local troops is December 15th. No later than Dec. 15th.
Last year I got boxes of crew socks, gym shorts, xmas stockings filled with goodies, handheld games, books, one etsy shop donated their drawings that were spiritual/inspirational. The women that helps run the fisher house was in tears. She said no one ever does that for them. It was one of the best moments of my life.
If you are unable to donate, or shop and ship... please at least help spread the word. Blog about this. You have permission to copy and paste this post to your own blogs. Tweet it, post it to your etsy teams, to your churches, to your schools! Just spreading the word is a huge help.
**** FINAL NOTE *** This has nothing to do with if you supported the war or were against it. Many of our deployed troops weren't aware this war would happen when they signed up and whether they agreed or not they answered the call to serve our country. Please don't let politics interfere with supporting those serving us during this special time of year.