Support Our Troops Idea – Bringing a Piece of Home to the Field

abbi carepackage1 Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the Field

 

When my younger sister Eunice joined the ROTC program in college I thought she was nuts, so did my parents.  The 9/11 terrorist attack on our country just happened and the next thing we all knew she enrolled in ROTC.  Although my parents were not entirely surprised, we all were dealing with the anxiety of future attacks and the idea of a conflict.  This did not sit well with my father, but dad also realized that her mind was made up.  She never felt the need to ask permission, but instead let her heart guide her.  Eunice was born with a servant’s heart; she found purpose in the US Army where her compassion, leadership abilities, and loyalty would be put to good use.  Her desire to defend the freedoms of this country had been and still is a primary reason she is dedicated to a career in the military.

Although concerned for her safety, my parents were also very proud of Eunice – especially my dad.  He would hang her military photos all over their office and at home.  During her 2nd deployment to Iraq, she was promoted to Commander of her brigade – Commander Captain Auntie Eunice (as we like to call her). 

Eunice is an auntie first.  When we would receive a phone call from her, she never wanted to discuss the happenings on the war front but instead would talk to her nieces one by one and have them tell her about the latest happenings in their lives.  She is also compassionate.  When she is home on leave she tells us the stories of tremendous acts of goodwill (hardly covered in the media) between the troops and civilians.  But, she also would share how troops were discouraged, homesick, and the harsh realities of war and the effects of it on everyone serving overseas.

During her first deployment two of my sisters organized a major care package for her and her troops for Christmas.  With the help of generous friends, family, churches, and corporations, we sent 50 large moving boxes to Iraq.  Eunice told us how encouraged she and the troops were when they received their gifts.  For many it was their only Christmas gifts because they did not have family or anyone else to feel cared for by.

The last time Eunice came home was last Christmas.  She spent most of her leave just hanging out with friends and family, especially her nieces and nephews.  Listening to her stories about military life, I’ve come to believe that when a person joins the military they basically sacrifice themselves to the noble cause of serving our country. 

It’s said that distance makes the heart grow fonder.  My sister has told me that what our troops miss the most is home.  To be away from home is very hard.

With Easter quickly approaching, my kids and I decided to send my sister a care package of pieces of home.  Included in her care package are letters from each of the kids, my mom and sister, and my husband and I.  I also included gum, roasted nuts, beef jerky, a pop-culture magazine, containers of homemade chocolate chip cookies, and Easter eggs filled with personalized notes.  I’m hoping our package of her favorite things from home will encourage her as she prepares for her 3rd deployment.

It’s amazing how a box filled with trivial things like candy can be such a morale booster for our troops.  I encourage anyone who has a friend or family member serving overseas ( or anyone with a desire to help ) in the Armed Forces to consider sending them a Spring care package.  I know it would mean so much and the troops would appreciate it more than you can imagine.  Just remember, what you add makes it.

decorated box Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the Field
USPS Priority mail flat rate shipping boxes are not only free, they also double as an artist’s canvas.  Personalized messages or artwork can turn an ordinary box into a work of beauty.
cookies in a container Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the Field
Homemade treats are special edible delights which have a magical way of transporting someone home – at least in their minds and hearts.  My sister Eunice always tells me that she thinks about my chocolate chip cookies obsessively and always looks forward to them when she comes home.
abbi decorating pints Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the Field
I get a lot of questions on how to ship cookies.  I’m trying a new method out.  I stacked the cookies inside disposable pint containers with hopes they will not only stay fresh, but that each cookie will remain intact.
abbi workstations Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the Field

abbi carepackage Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the FieldHere’s a great idea.  Purchase plastic colored eggs and write as many individual messages as there are eggs.  Messages can be anything from a word of encouragement, a heart-felt sentiment, poem, favorite quotes, jokes, drawings, or anything else you can think of. 
abbi writing notes Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the FieldThe goal is to encourage the recipient with thoughts of love, support, and home.
JaniceandIsaiahAbbi Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the FieldOne nice idea is to have different family members write their own personalized message to be placed inside the eggs.  You can also collect messages via email from family friends and print them off to be included.
rolling notes Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the FieldRoll each note so it will nicely into the eggs.
stuffing eggs Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the FieldPlace personalized messages inside each egg.
carepackage Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the Field

 Here are some tips on putting together a care package for troops serving overseas. 

 

  • Box : The US Post Office offers flat rate boxes.  These boxes are great because you can fill them up regardless of weight and will only be charged a flat rate.  To give your box a personal touch, consider drawing pictures or write personal sayings.  This simple gesture is an example of how what you add makes it.
  • What to include in the box:  I’m told troops appreciate just about anything.  Homemade treats are cherished, but store bought things like nuts, protein bars, candy, beef jerky, and gum are well received too.  Chocolates are bad because they melt easily.  If you must send chocolate, consider the candy coated variety.  Magazines, books letters, photos, chap stick, cards, and sanitized baby wipes make being away a little bit more bearable.

 

I would love to hear your ideas of what to include in a care package to someone serving in the military in the comment section below. I am always looking for ideas! – Thank you!

Thank you COOL WHIP for sponsoring this post. #coolwhipmoms

-Disclaimer: Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.

pin it button Support Our Troops Idea   Bringing a Piece of Home to the Field
About these ads

Comments

  1. says

    My sister’s close friend was in the army for a while and we sent him a package every few weeks. He asked for basics such as toothpaste, 3 in 1 shampoo-body-wash-shaving gel, movies, books, chocolate, fruit snacks (they would take these along and often pass it out to the children), lip balm with spf and of course, hand-written notes (these were cherished, he said). It saddened me that he would ask for basics because I thought the military would give them such toiletries, but he said that they were really rough and the 3 in 1 was perfect because they needed to take quick showers (and often if he was in the Middle East). We weren’t able to send baked goods because it took too long to get to him, but anything packaged was well-received by all!

  2. wenders says

    Any care package is appreciated. It’s a message from home showing that you are thinking of them. Sturdy cookies are the best travel cookies. I’ve heard that Snickerdoodles were sent to troops in the past because they held up well, especially with the time it takes to get to the troops. One of my kids’ favorite is the Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies (America’s Test Kitchen) – and they are delicious and definitely crispy. I have not shipped these cookies before, but they seem nice, dry, and “crispy” hard enough to withstand the travel. Zip-top bags are probably best in keeping it fresh, as you can squeeze the extra air out (like a Food Saver), and perhaps place it in a plastic container afterwards to protect it from bumps. Another idea my friend has used in the past is re-using Pringles containers and/or perhaps Tennis Ball containers to ship cookies and keep them in tact.

  3. says

    I love this post so much. Sending out care packages is so much fun. I recently got involved with the organization A Smile for Troops ( http://www.asmilefortroops.com/ ) that regularly sends out care packages to some of our deployed soldiers. I don’t personally know anyone in the military, and it has really been eye opening to all of a sudden have a personal connection with someone deployed. I have been sending out a box a month all year, and even my 3 year old has gotten involved and talks about the soldier we have “adopted.” :)

    And P.S. Alice, I totally baked up a batch of your Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies and sent them out in the first box. :)

  4. Ashley says

    When my fiance and close friends have deployed I have always sent Cakes in a Jar. They stay fresh and intact, but I’ve always included a can of icing separate so the icing stays fresh too. You can find a ton of varieties here: http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/cakes-and-baking/desserts-recipes-in-a-jar-cake/?page=10

    In the past I’ve also included “hot hands” and “hot feet” which can be found in the dollar section at Target. Most people aren’t aware, but it snows in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve also sent socks and 5 hour energy shots!

  5. Lydia says

    Don’t forget to use the priority boxes specially marked for military , as long as it is to an APO address. They are less postage than the regular priority boxes.
    I’ve been sending military war dog boxes for years! The troops love them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Anti-Spam Quiz: