Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Operation Care Package

I am working with an organization called, "Operation Care Packages" and they are collecting items to send overseas to our troops that will be deployed during the holidays.   I have worked with this organization for 4 years now.  http://www.operationcarepackages.org/index.html

I think about an organization such as Etsy that connects millions of people and can see so much potential to make a difference. If everyone gave one or two items we would easily meet and of course exceed our goals.

So how can we all help with this, in these tough economic times?  Direct donations are of course appreciated and needed but there are MANY ways to help this year.

1.  Just help spread the word.  Please blog about this, email your friends, tell your co-workers... just help spread the word on this wonderful cause.

2.  Get a local school or church involved.  My mom is a retired teacher and she gets kids at school to draw and paint and send messages.  The troops love to see all of that support.

3.  Look around your house to see what you don't need or want anymore.  Old magazines are greatly appreciated, used books too.  Do you have old games, decks of cards, or movies laying around?   All of these things are keep the cost to you down but would make a huge impact for our troops.  Other than the cost to ship these wouldn't cost you a thing!

4.  Go to the local dollar store and buy 5-10 items which will cost you 5-10 dollars.  This organization loves to send a stocking to every troop so you could buy 5 PACKS of stockings.  Or just some toiletries, or games and books from there.  Very cheap and you can buy multiple items.

5.  Here is a great website with very affordable odds and ends, such as deck of cards, stockings that are only 50 cents each, games and ornaments.. .

6.  You can send blank cards so that they have something to send back to loved ones, or a book of stamps.  Just get creative and send something, one thing :)

Here is a LONG list of things they would want and could use:

"Wish List"

The following is a list of items that are especially needed to add Holiday cheer to packages.

Cards & letters of support to 'any hero'

Hot Chocolate & Hot Cider Packets Cookies (small individual packs)

Chocolate bars & kisses

Batteries AA & AAA

Hand held games, dvds and cds

Sweat pants and blanket throws

Socks - Mens - white /black - work /crew

Summer sausage, beef sticks or pepperoni sticks (6oz to 12oz size)

Granola Bars, Trail Mix, Nuts (individual sizes)

Small Christmas trees - 8 to 18 inches tall

Zip lock bags (quart and gallon size)

Popcorn balls / Carmel corn

Phone cards 120 min AT&T

Little Stockings (Approx 10-16 inches tall x 5-6 inches wide)

Hand made ornaments (no glass please)

Protien Bars * Batteries * Jerky

Pre-sweetened powdered Kool-aid, Gatorade

Kool aid singles or similar

Jerky, Slim Jims, Summer Sausage, Beef Sticks

Canned Fruit, Dried Fruit, Fruit Snacks

Canned Hearty Soup, Ravioli, Stew

Cup A Soup, Top Ramon, Dinty Moore

Trail Mix, Nuts, Sunflower Seeds

Pre-Packaged Cookies

Instant Oatmeal, Boxed Cereal

Easy Mac & Cheese, Microwave Popcorn

Canned Tuna, Chicken

Peanut Butter / Jelly (No Glass Please)

Small boxes of crackers

Muti-Vitamins, Tylenol

New/Used DVDs / CDs

Puzzle Books, Pads of paper, Long Envelopes

Qt. / Gal Zip Lock Bags

Hand Held Games, Hand held Mini fans, Misters

Batteries AA/ AAA
Cards games...UNO, Skip Bo,

Yahtzee, Board Games, Sports equipment, Hacky Sacks, X-Box & PS2 Games

Mens White/Black Crew/ Work socks

Under Armour Wear T-Shirts Sm., Med., Lg., Xlg.

Shave towels, wash cloths, Cool scarves

Sun glasses, Safety glasses, Gloves, 72" boot laces

Special Wants

Small Personal or Desk Fans, Hand & Foot warmers, Hot Plates, Small Coffee Grinder, Twin Sheet Sets, Pillow cases, Travel Size Pillows, Cool Scarves, Jogging Pants, Cool Max T-Shirts, Wash Cloths and Bath Towels, Flashlights, Headlamps, Leatherman, New or Good Condition Books, No Romance Please, Mystery, Western, Thriller, Sports, Inspirational

SuperBowl Sunday Help us give them a day every American Loves

Footballs, Nerf Balls, Sports Related Items, New Football or Sports Magazines, Salsa - in plastic please, Totilla Chips, Summer Sausage, Small boxes of crackers, Cheese - Non refrigerated, Plastic Football Bowls for chips, Football Napkins, Football Sports Flags or Banners, Men's Deodorant, Shave Cream, Foot Powder, odor eaters, Small size shampoos, conditioner, mouthwash, Floss, lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrushes, nail clippers, Sunblock, Mosquito repellant, Fly tape, Wet Wipes, Anti-bacterial liquid soap

Holiday Needs

Summer sausage, Crackers, Canned Ham (Sm.)

Lots Pre-packaged Cookies, Hot Chocolate, Coffee

Chocolate Candy, Hard Candy,

Handmade or mini ornaments

Small 18-22 inch Christmas Trees (Artificial)

New or Handmade Blanket Throws

Cards & letters of support

Hand made kids pictures/ letters

Small un-wrapped gifts

Homemade / bought stockings / Mini or regular size

SEND HERE No Later Than November 15th
Operation Care Package

611 Wilcox St. 

Joliet, IL. 60435

On a separate note I also collect packages for the local injured troops.  I personally deliver them to the local fisher houses at Andrew's Air Force Base, and Walter Reed Army Hospital etc.

These are people who will be in a hospital during the holidays and can't go home and are dealing with major injuries.  So if you are interested in helping some local injured troops please contact me directly.
I will post updates here as to what we have collected, and hopefully have some pictures of the local troops, and of the donations to post here too.


  1. Galla, what a wonderful idea!!! I am sure they would enjoy some of our handmade crafts too. Would love to donate some stockings...

  2. Janet, I've always wanted to be involved with this ... and they're in IL, too.


  3. That would be WONDERFUL Sewing :) I have done this 4 years now in a row and it is VERY rewarding. I should add that donating to the above organization IS A TAX DEDUCTIBLE donations too :))))

  4. What a wonderful thing! My mom was president of her Am. Legion Ladie's Auxillary for many years and all my uncles (8!) served in WWII!

    Thank you for doing this!

  5. That is great Holly :)) I served 6 years in the Navy, and deployed to Iraq in 2003 at the start of the war. So this is near and dear to my heart. :))

  6. OH LINDA!!! They need a TON of help in person, help packing boxes and hauling things, sorting etc.

  7. What a great thing to do! I'll definitely spread the word and get some things together to mail to the address that you posted.

  8. I'm so glad you posted this, I would love to send you some items for the holidays for our trooops. God Bless them for keeping us safe!

  9. Thanks so much Sym and Isa ;)))

  10. I definitely have some cd's and movies I can send along to help those troops get a little mental relief. Thanks for posting this.

  11. wonderful cause.....great job you are doing. I will try to help with this too!!!

  12. Great cause. I will definitely put together a box and send to the above address.

  13. I didn't think there would be something like this! nice initiative!

  14. I especially like the idea of some special Holiday items for the local injured troops ... so many terrible, life-altering injuries from those horrible road-side bombs!!! What type of things would be appropriate for the wounded?

  15. Awesome! We do something similar to this at our church every year. I love reaching out to help others.

  16. So, can the PFT adopt a local hospital ward for the holidays and send a giant care package chock full of cool stuff (handmade/donated/whatever)?

  17. This is a great idea love it. Will put something together to send to the address, we have lots of things here we no longer use.

  18. LOST: I wouldn't mind doing that. A BIG PFT collection.

    JILL: I will convo you but I think the injured troops really miss a piece of home. And they are also VERY restricted usually in what they can do.
    So any comfort from home that you can think of.
    Last year I bought a ton of crossword books and word searches from the dollar store, and handheld games. Things that are fun and hopefully a nice distraction. They can't get to the store and go shopping so even basic clothing like gym shorts, to gym socks are very welcome. I have had Etsy shops in the past donate soaps, handmade cards, drawings that had uplifting sayings. The handmade cards were handwritten for each troop, OR blank so that they could send a nice handmade card home to loved ones. Hope this helps some.
    And don't forget their are women too. I got a lot of "man" soaps and men's gym socks etc last year. Which is good but there are plenty of women too!

  19. I think you did this last year too. Great idea!

  20. Wonderful idea and I will make sure to spread the word and check out the website now. Thanks for sharing.