Healthy Living

How You Can Bring the Holidays to our Troops

U.S Army Soldiers from Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, open care packages at Coalition Outpost Spera, Khowst Province, Afghanistan

During the holidays, many people start to think of family and friends, especially friends and family that are not close by to celebrate with. And most of the family and friends farthest away is people in the military. So while we cannot usually bring the troops home for the holidays, there is a lot that can be done to bring the holidays to the troops.

Ways You Can Send Care Packages

There are several ways that you can support the troops and help make their holidays as happy and memorable as possible. One of the best ways is to send gift packages to the soldiers serving. If you have a friend or family member who is serving, you can send a package directly to the address that their mail comes into. Go to the anysoldier.comwebsite will give you a large list of mailing addresses for a variety of branches of the military.
What’s On Their Wishlist?

Even if you do not have a loved one serving, care packages, especially around the holidays, are greatly appreciated. While the list of things that a soldier would need in the field seems endless there are some things that are requested more often than others. One of the most frequent requests is for non-perishable foods, such as coffee, candies that won’t melt in heat, nuts, chips, dry soup, condiments and sugar. Troops also frequently request toiletries like baby wipes, hand sanitizer, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, disposable razors, deodorant, lotion, nasal spray and eye drops.

Outside of necessities, living on duty can be incredibly boring, so packages containing entertainment are always loved. In addition to batteries of all sizes, DVD players, game systems and headphones are well received, along with games and videos. Regular board games, books of Sudoku and crosswords are also a big help in making time pass. Another particularly loved gift is prepaid phone cards that allow soldiers to call their loved ones internationally while not paying a fortune to keep in touch.

What You Cannot Send

Keep in mind though that there are a few things that are not allowed in care packages. Perishable foods will not stay good during shipping, and no pork products are allowed in an effort to be sensitive to the populations that the troops are working with.

Find a Support Our Troops Organization

If you are still unsure of what to send or afraid that you don’t have enough money to fill an entire care package, there are several organizations that are committed to sending these packages out every year. This streamlines shipping and also ensures that the soldiers are getting everything that they have requested and need. These organizations can either take donations of goods that soldiers have requested, or they can take monetary donations that will allow them to purchase the gifts to fill the care packages.

In addition to national organizations devoted to the troops, many organizations are based locally. A simple Google search for “military care packages” including the town you live in will almost certainly pull-up results. And keep in mind that these soldiers’ needs do not end after the holidays. While it is wonderful and appreciated that people send goods during this time, consider contributing to care packages year round.

A Georgia resident, Mary Cratz has worked in the real estate industry for over ten years. During her tenure, she has gained a lot of experience in finding the best Atlanta loans for her clients.







Karla Urwitz
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