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Have you ever become weary in doing the right thing? I sure have. The best thing to get out of that rut is to find someone to be kind to whether in word or deed. This war that’s been going on forever it seems, got me to thinking about how I used to send care packages to my brother when he served in the first and second Iraq wars. Well it’s been years since he’s been back and I have not known anyone directly to send care packages to so I haven’t done so.

 A couple of months ago a friend I met in my school days was deployed over seas and it never occurred to me until now to start sending him care packages. I figured he has a family, let them do that for him. That is until I saw a blog today with a photo that really bothered me. It was a young marine standing by an empty wood crate and the caption read: We need more care packages. Please send some! I thought, what if that was me, a lone soldier out there not being able to receive anything from back home? I would seriously hate to be THAT guy. So I made a trip to the store and I put together a care package for my friend.

I am posting a handy list I found of  in demand items our troops deployed over seas  need. Even if you don’t know a soldier, send a care package to a soldier, I hear they love it. It’s a good feeling when you know the little bit that you can contribute will make some one else’s life a little better. ^.^

Due to our Policies and Regulations, we CANNOT ACCEPT these items:

HOME-BAKED FOOD
GLASS BOTTLES or GLASS JARS
AEROSOL CANS or AEROSOL SPRAYS
EXPIRED FOOD
CANNED FOOD
CANDLES, LIGHTERS, MATCHES or LIGHTER FLUID
HOTEL SAMPLES
VHS TAPES or CASSETTE TAPES
CONTRABAND ITEMS (live plants, tobacco, alcohol, knives, nudity, etc.)
HARD-COVER BOOKS & MUSIC CDS*  (*CDs accepted only at our North Carolina Branch)

 


For security and sanitary reasons, please leave all items in their original packages.
When purchasing items, please choose the latest expiration date possible.

Thank you for your cooperation and support!
* Items in PURPLE are the MOST NEEDED & REQUESTED *

FOOD (SNACKS) & ENTERTAINMENT ITEMS ARE ALWAYS THE #1 REQUEST!


FOOD, SNACKS AND DRINKS:

  • BEEF JERKY / SLIM JIMS

  • COFFEE (Ground or whole; instant or drip. Ground is preferred)
  • POWDER DRINK MIX (Gatorade, Kool-Aid, Crystal Light)
  • SUNFLOWER SEEDS & PUMPKIN SEEDS
  • TUNA & CHICKEN SALAD (in foil pouches, or ready-to-eat kits (no cans)
  • PROTEIN POWDER & PROTEIN BARS
  • CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS accepted from OCTOBER through MARCH (it will melt in high temperatures!)

  • Hot Chocolate packets, Herbal teas
  • Hard Pretzels / Cheetos / Fritos / Chex Mix / Wheat Thins / Ritz

  • Gum / Hard Candy (must be individually wrapped in large bags)

  • Granola Bars / Power Bars / Cereal Bars / Cliff Bars

  • Fig Newtons, Oreos, Cheese & Crackers – Small Packs
  • Trail Mix, Dried Fruit, Granola, Fruit Roll-Ups / Fruit By The Foot / Fruit Gummies

  • DRY SOUP: (Ramen Noodles / Cup-O-Soup: just add water)

  • NUTS: Peanuts, Mixed Nuts (salted preferred)

  • MICROWAVE FOOD (Popcorn, Chef-Boy-R-Dee, Mac’n’Cheese…)

  • COOKIES / Girl Scout Cookies (with chocolate: Oct. – Feb. only!)

  • Rice Krispie Treats (Store-bought only)

  • Little Debbies® & Hostess® cake products

  • Oatmeal Packs (Instant: just add water)

  • Cereal (Small, individual boxes)

  • Condiments, Spices; Sugar; Salad Dressing (no glass jars)
  • Caffeinated gum or candy (to stay alert)

TOILETRIES: NO HOTEL SAMPLES!
(Note: Some troops have allergies & need Brand Name toiletries which list all ingredients. The military issues and/or sells toiletries to our troops, however troops often miss their favorite brand of shampoo or soap. Our goal is to send troops reminders of home & items they miss … not free samples.)

  • BABY WIPES (travel size)

  • HAND SANITIZER (travel size)

  • Body Wash, Liquid Soap, Facial Cleanser

  • Shampoo /Conditioner (travel size)
  • Hair Gel (for female troops to pull hair back)
  • Combs / Brushes / Bobby Pins (in original packaging, please)

  • Deodorant (travel size)
  • Razors (disposable or “Intuition” or “Mach 3” types)
  • Shaving Cream in Tubes / Shaving Soap (No CANS of Shaving Cream, please!)
  • Lip balm / Chap Stick / Carmex / Blistex

  • Baby Powder & Foot Powder (travel size)

  • Tissues (individual packs; travel size only)
  • Hand & Body Lotion / Moisturizer (travel size)
  • Sunblock, SPF 45, Zinc, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera Gel

  • Bug Spray / DEET / Skin-So-Soft

  • Mouthwash (travel size)

  • Toothpaste & Toothbrushes & Dental Floss

  • Breath Mints / Breath Strips

  • Lozenges / Cough Drops
  • Loufa Sponges / Buff Puffs / Washcloths
  • Nail files / Emery Boards / Nail Clippers

  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Cotton Swabs (i.e. Q-tips) – also used to clean guns!
  • Cotton Balls

  • Band-aids, Gauze Pads, First Aid Kits / Ace bandages, Icy Hot or Bengay cream

  • Moleskin
  • Shoe Insole Cushions (gel kind is best)
  • Tylenol, Motrin, Advil or Aspirin Packets
  • Eye Drops (i.e. Visine)
  • Nasal Spray
  • Vitamins (multi-vitamins are always needed!)

ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS:

  • BATTERIES: (AA, AAA, C & 9 Volt are the most requested)

  • DVD Movies (new or usedrecent releases only, please!)

  • Xbox Games, PSP, PS2 & PS3 Games (new or used)
  • iTunes® Gift Cards
  • 35 mm disposable cameras
  • Computer Flash Drives & Thumb Drives
  • Portable CD players / head phones
  • Electronic handheld games
  • Small homemade gifts – reminders & comforts of “home”

  • Small photographs or posters of scenery for their tents & walls
  • Pens & mechanical pencils, small note pads

  • Stationery & Envelopes; blank cards to send home

  • Double-sided tape, small crafts kits, scrap-booking items

  • Day planners / Calendars / Small, Pocket Calendars

  • Game Books: (Crossword Puzzles / Word Search Books / Math Puzzle books / MAD LIBS / Logic Problems / Sudoku)
  • Yo-Yo’s, Dominoes, Playing Cards (new), Poker Chips & Mats, Dice
  • Board games (UNO, Othello, Checkers – travel size is great, too!)
  • Dart Boards (regular or magnetic – any size)
  • Nerf Footballs / Whiffle bats, balls & Mitts / Sports equipment

  • Frisbees / Hackey sacks

  • Music CDs, Magazines & Books (Accepted ONLY at our NORTH CAROLINA BRANCH)

OTHER:

  • LINENS: Pillow cases, twin sheets, towels (green & tan)
  • T-SHIRTS: Cotton green & tan under shirts – new (Sizes: M, L & XL)
     [Note: The DOD banned “Under-Armor” shirts due to its material being potentially flammable & bad reactions to open wounds.]
  • LAUNDRY DETERGENT & FABRIC SOFTENER SHEETS: (Click HERE for types)
  • FLASHLIGHTS – SMALL(battery operated. Surefire Brand preferred)
  • AIR FRESHENERS (standalone-not plug-in. Car types are also good)

  • SOCKS: Black, Olive Green & White (cotton or wool)
  • PHONE CARDS – Pre-Paid (Click HERE for Where to Buy and What Types of Phone Cards to Buy from Third-Party Vendors)
  • Gift Cards to send home to loved ones (for Restaurants, Supermarkets)
  • Small toys (Beanie babies) & school supplies for Iraqi & Afghan children

  • Patriotic knick-knacks, USA flags, flags from your state, bandanas, baseball hats, football jerseys, banners to tack on their walls or tents.
  • Black or Green duct tape, small tool kits, dust masks, carpentry tools, Fly swatters, fly paper, mosquito netting, bug repellent in plastic pump bottles only           (NO AEROSOL CANS, PLEASE!)
  • Paint brushes, adhesive wall hooks, sponges
  • Gun cleaning supplies (lube) such as Militec-1 & CLP
  • Generic sunglasses (Ballistic, black only. No “mirror” types)
  • Alarm Clocks (Small in size; wind-up or battery-operated)
  • Small, portable heaters & fans (110 voltage okay)
  • Fleece Blankets (Yes, it gets very cold in the winter over there!!)
  • Disposable Hand warmers and Foot warmers (in the wintertime)
  • Winter Hats (Yes, it snows in the winter over there! Hand knitted hats in black, tan or green are always welcome!)
  • Water Bottles, Travel Mugs & Thermoses with Lids, (for Coffee, Tea & Soup)
  • Coffee Makers & Filters (110 voltage okay)
  • Coffee Bean Grinders – small (electric or battery-operated)
  • Microwave Ovens (55 pounds max; 110 voltage okay)
  • Hot Pots – Small
  • Elixir & Water Purification Tablets for Camelbaks
  • Combat Application Tourniquets (black only)
  • Religious booklets, small bibles, inspirational readings
  • Holiday and Seasonal Decorations – see our PROGRAMS PAGE for details
  • K-9 items:
    Dog treats, toys, shampoo, flea collars, etc.
    (Note: CLICK HERE to see our restrictions and guidelines if you wish to donate items to the dogs. Thank you.)

  • CARDS & LETTERS: The troops love to hear from all of us and Mail brightens their days!  These are the MOST IMPORTANTitems we can send the troops & we can never have too many, so please keep writing! consider making a patriotic banner or poster to send inside one of our care packages!Note: Our troops do not need stamps as they’re in war zones & may send mail home to their loved ones at no charge, but our branches can always use stamps to send correspondence

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2 thoughts on “Our Troops Need Us

  1. I’ve been discussing the transition from governmental representation to a regulated anrachist state. This in turn will dissolve upon advent of a fully self-regulating society. Then we will dispense with all arms and national soveriegnty eith be abolished. Something like a post-socialist utopia that was envisioned in the 1920s but abandoned in the wake of totalitarian dictatorships. This system (or lack thereof) will only eventuate upon the full-tertiary education of the masses and the advent of a completely transparent political system. Food for thought?

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