Christmas Care Packages for Troops

For: Deployed Troops
Organizer: Ms. Tracy
of $1,200 goal
90% Complete
Raised by 7 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

For over eight years, my husband and I have been “adopting” deployed troops. We send cards, letters, and care packages year-round. . Many of the troops we adopt have spent multiple holiday seasons deployed. When Christmas rolls around, we want to make their days a little brighter, knowing they will be spending yet another holiday season in harm’s way, far from home and loved ones.

Our general care packages contain simple items we all take for granted. A snack box may have trail mix, cookies, Crystal Light (or similar drink mix), nuts, granola bars, candy, sugarless gum, snack cakes, coffee & related products, freezer pops if our Warrior has access to a freezer, tuna pouches, microwavable meals, Ramen noodles…the list goes on and on. A hygiene box may contain shower products, shaving gear, socks, underwear, soft toilet paper, baby wipes, sewing kits, foot care items, powder, feminine hygiene for our female troops…again, the list goes on and on.

At this time of year, with Christmas looming just around the corner, we turn our thoughts to items like cards they can send home to their loved ones, treats, stockings to hang, strings of colored lights, trees to decorate (small, tabletop trees),ornaments to go with the trees, and gift items of all kinds. If it makes us think “Christmas” when we see it, it’s fair game for a care package. We start collecting “stuff” early because it takes time to plan, sort items, pack boxes, and get the customs forms filled out. The packages need to go in the mail before Thanksgiving in order to make sure they arrive in plenty of time for our troops to get the most good out of the Christmas items. It is not a “cheap” project, and we need all the help we can muster to make it a success. This is where you come in.

We currently have troops from Ft. Campbell KY, Ft. Hood TX, Ft. Carson CO, Ft. Stewart GA and Ft. Riley KS we send general care packages, cards, and letters to. These are the soldiers we will be sending Christmas packages to, as well. If we can get donations of items to go into the boxes, and donations to help with postage, we hope to be able to put together at least 35 boxes so each Soldier gets their own. Using the large flat-rate priority boxes, the cost of postage is $14.85 per box. On our own, we will be able to put together and send 5 boxes, which is one per group of Soldiers. Just think how much nicer it will be if each Soldier gets their own box as opposed to having to share one box among anywhere from five to eight people.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 9, 2013

Posted on November 9, 2013

13 days left before the fundraiser closes - I have everything I always buy for the care packages purchased and ready for packing. However, I have had very few donations of items to help fill the boxes out. For the past 8 years, I have managed to have enough "stuff" donated that it was difficult to walk in the Soldier Room for all the boxes and bags. All the local papers ran my article including a list of things needed, along with my phone numbers and my work address where items can be dropped off. I put flyers out at the Board Office and Jack took flyers to work and handed them out. I have plenty of candy for the stockings, thanks to my friend Gayle, and a handful of small fun items that can be included as gifts, thanks to my friend (and boss) Judy. I have plenty of word puzzle & Suduko books. No gloves. No sock hats/beanies. No Hot Hands handwarmers. No Little Debbie-type snack cakes in Holiday themes. No hand-held electronic games. No batteries. I have $119 and change left in the Troop Account besides the money I've set aside for the postage for 36 boxes - I'll probably buy handwarmers and as many gloves as I can with what I have left to work with. Meanwhile, I can only say I am disappointed in our community. I expected a little more particpation in such a worthwhile cause. Especially with our proximity to Ft. Campbell, and knowing how many troops from Ft.Campbell are currently deployed and how many are preparing to deploy soon. I'm still plugging along, and come Hell or high water I WILL get 36 Christmas packages sent out. It could be the last year for this project, though.

Posted on November 4, 2013

Posted on November 4, 2013

Time keeps slipping into the future...the clock is ticking down on this project. Today's mail brought 3 phone cards and a $20 donation from Ron & Ashley in Hawaii. Since Ron has "been there, done that" at least five times (and every time, we sent him care packages), he knows what will be a hit with our Warriors. I really appreciate the Warriors and Veterans who have helped with this project. I guess since they've been in the same boots our deployed warriors are in, spending holidays away from their families, missing out on so many special moments that the rest of us take for granted, they understand the importance of what I'm trying to do. Your average citizen just doesn't "get it." Sad, but true...

Posted on October 30, 2013

Posted on October 30, 2013

Suggestions for Christmas Care Package Items:

Gloves - black

Sock hats – neutral colors

“Hot Hands” hand warmers

Hand-held electronic games (and batteries)

Brain-teaser puzzles

Travel sized games (Yahtzee, Boggle, Trivial Pursuit, etc.)

Candy canes

Stockings, Santa Hats, Reindeer Antlers

Stocking stuffer items (use your imagination)

Stationery/writing materials

Disposable cameras

DVD movies (no War films…keep it light!)

Strings of Christmas lights

Ornaments (unbreakable, please…)

Assorted Holiday Decorations

Traditional Christmas candies

Little Debbie Snack cakes, Holiday themed if possible

Hot cocoa mix and Marshmallows to put in cocoa

Nerf balls

Novelty toys (Dollar Tree, Big Lots are good sources)

Travel mugs with lids

Basically, anything that makes you think “Christmas” when you see it will be well-received by our “kids in the sandbox.” The vast majority of our troops are between 18 and 25; if you have a son, daughter or other relative, or you know someone in that age range, try to think of the “silly” things they still enjoy. I will guarantee the young men and women over there enjoy the same kinds of “silly” things; anything that can help relieve stress is welcome.

Items may be dropped off at the Educational Annex building, 104 Elizabeth Street, Room 9, Ashland City (The old Primary School building).  If you have any questions, please call Ms Tracy at (615)557-2972 or  (615)746-1406

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