Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holiday Cheer For Our Service Members

The holidays are fast approaching and as you make out your holiday card list, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year, why not add a soldier to your list:

The American Red Cross is partnering with Pitney Bowes to send holiday cards to military personnel, veterans and their families both here and abroad. The deadline is December 10th. Click here for guidelines. For the cost of a card and a stamp you can bring good cheer to someone who deserves it. They also have free cards you can download.

If you feel like sharing a little more than a card, there are organizations that send care packages, year round, to soldiers across the globe. Some of my favorites include:

Treats For Troops- You pick a soldier to shop for, and then have at it. You can also adopt a troop to send a package to. There is a wide variety of items to choose from.

Operation Gratitude- This is a wonderful organization that is totally voluntary, every penny you send them is used to ship packages to our service members. Corporate donors provide all the items, but each box costs $10.00 to ship, and as of today they only have enough funds to ship one-quarter of the 70,000 packages. The organization receives names of soldiers and each care package is personally addressed to them. Especially during the holidays, our service members can feel homesick and depressed, and receiving a card or care package can brighten their spirits. In fact, one soldier wrote to the founder of the organization the following letter:

"HI Carolyn Our unit will be leaving Iraq in a few weeks. I just wanted to thank you for your support of all soldiers over here. Your care packages helped lift morale here greatly and you should know helped save the life of a young soldier.

We had a soldier who never got mail, care packages, or anything. He did not have much family and as it turns out was planning on committing suicide on Christmas, but because that soldier received your care package it was like a Christmas gift. It made the soldier change his mind.

soldier now writes letters and emails to folks whose names were in the box and the soldier's attitude and outlook on life has really improved. This is not a story--it is true. We found out when the soldier finally opened up and talked to the Chain of Command about what was going thru his mind and got help for his depression.

Your care package made a major difference in a human life. Because of your organization, one less family received terrible news at Christmas time.

This has been my third deployment here and I remember how on my first deployment, I almost never got mail and then received a care package from your group. It made me feel much better about being separated from my loved ones. Is there anything I can do to help out? Your group has helped me so I think I should return the great favor. What can I do to help out? Send $$ donations? Just name
it. V/R, SFC J.S."

Our men and women in the military need and deserve our support. $10.00 isn't too much to sacrifice for those who put their lives on the line for us every day.


calicobebop said...

Yes, having been deployed twice myself I can identify with the joy that care packages bring. It's amazing how a little bit of mail can really make your day - especially when you're cut off from everyone you love.

A great post that outlines many opportunities to brighten a soldier's day - I hope that the message gets passed along!

WomanHonorThyself said...

hey girl..I also posted on our troops!..oorah!

Incognito said...

CALICOBEBOP: Thank you for your service! I hope it does as well.

WOMAN: Off to check it out.

Z said...

A public service..good work, Incog!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Pat Jenkins said...

gtreat testimonial, and idea incog. it is too bad we are only reminded to give around the holidays. we could use that spirit year round!!!

Zack R said...

Fantastic. I always come away from your blog feeling inspired. Times are tough financially but I'm going to touch base with all of these links today. You're the best, Incog! God bless our heroic troops.