I send out my first two care packages.
Those of you who follow this blog may have read my most recent “Support Our Troops” post. It starts off with a rant about people who think they’re supporting the troops by taking a minute to send a free card to a random soldier, then provides information on how you can send members of our armed forces things they can really use.
At the time, I vowed to send 10 care packages this month. Today I sent my first two.
I used the lists from the first two AnySoldier.com representatives to buy the items to send. I went to two stores and spent about $100 on everything from lip balm to bed sheets.
Then I made my famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I packed two saved take-out packages — the kind my husband is always telling me not to save — with cookies.
Yesterday, I was caught up in work — imagine that! Today, I had some spare time and finally put the first two packages together.
The first, to an army guy in Iraq, was mostly foodstuff, although he did get a set of twin sheets. The Priority Mail flat rate box weighted in at just over 7 lbs. The second, to a navy gal in the Gulf, was a combination of stationery items and personal hygiene items. That flat rate box weighed in at just under 7 lbs. (Cotton balls don’t weigh much.) Each box cost $8.95 to ship because of the flat rate priority mail to a U.S. (FPO and APO) address. I don’t think that was a bad deal. I just hope their contents reach the addressees before Christmas.
I printed postage and customs forms on the USPS Web site. It took me about 20 minutes for the first form and only 5 for the second. (I summarized box contents.) Then it took another 20 minutes at the post office.
I’ve decided that I’m going to ship the remaining 8 boxes at once to make better use of my time.
Now I have to collect lists and addresses. I can only get two addresses a day, so I’ll be literally collecting them.
A reminder to people who don’t want to wade through my lengthy post about this: AnySoldier.com makes it possible to send deployed troops the items they really need in care packages. Won’t you make a difference in a soldier’s life this holiday season? Visit AnySoldier.com, click the Where to Send link, and read the story of one of the service members. Buy a few things on his or her wish list and send it. Sure, it’ll take a few minutes of your time and a few dollars of your money, but it’s the best way I can think of to support our troops.
I look forward to the day when these young people can come home.