Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Book Plea for Soldiers

Hey y’all, I got the following email from a friend and I’d thought I would share it with you all. If you’re interested in sending some sort of care package please email me and I’ll send the address along. All those old books and unwanted ARCs could be put to excellent use:

I’d like to bring to the attention of my literary-minded friends a special need that has arisen among the servicemen on the front lines in Afghanistan.

The 3rd Brigade Combat Team has been in Afghanistan for a year and was scheduled to return home at the beginning of February. However a few days before they were to leave, they received word that their deployment had been extended until June. Although the soldiers and their families are very committed to their mission, this has obviously been a deep disappointment and the cause of much grief.

A very practical concern has also arisen as a result of this last minute notification. The soldiers had shipped much of their personal belongings home, keeping only a few supplies to keep with them while traveling home. This means that in addition to the usual toiletry items (see list below), the soldiers had also mailed home their books, leaving them bored out of their skulls during off-duty hours.

A request has gone out to send as many books as we can gather for the soldiers. These are shared among the men (no women, in this case, as they are in a high-risk combat zone) and will be passed along afterwards to the soldiers who will relieve them in June. Books of all genres are greatly appreciated: non-fiction, fiction, military, Christian, sci-fi, fantasy, historical novels – whatever!

If you are able to also slip in any of the items on the list below, that would be greatly appreciated, too. The Post Office has pre-paid boxes that run $8-$12 (with customs forms required) for all military addresses

He will see to it that the books and supplies are distributed among the soldiers. Thank you very much!

Other ideas for packages:

Books and magazines;
DVDs of Movies and TV shows
Oatmeal: The kind in the bowls that can be microwaved;
Store-bought (and sealed) Cookies; (Girl Scout cookies are a big hit!)
Pop tarts;
Cheese or peanut butter crackers;
Little Debbie Snacks;
Tootsie Rolls, Starburst, Jolly Ranchers and other candies that will mail well;
Cross word puzzles
Toilet Paper (the soldiers use the really soft TP as currency!)
Dark Green or Black Socks – the thicker the better!
Other Health & Hygiene items
Phone Cards
Beanie Babies (they give them to local kids)
Instant coffee. There are many flavored coffees that are very good.
Powdered Gatorade.
Powdered hot chocolate
Kool-Aid (presweetened of course)
Tea bags
Slim Jim'sCrackers and Easy Cheese.
Triscuits and Ritz crackers are great.
Single servings of bagged chips. (The small bags stay fresh longer.)
Candy, of course. (M & M's are great, hard candy-anything that won't melt.)
Bubble gum
Rice Krispie Treats
Dry cereal. (The small, individual serving boxes stay very fresh.)
Kraft Easy Mac
Microwave popcorn
Granola bars
Power bars
Dried fruit
Chex mix
Canned soup
Tuna Spices (Onion powder, garlic powder, spice all, ect )
Summer sausage
Ragu Express
Canned chicken
Salad dressing
Instant soup
Fast food condiments (Hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepperpackets, relish, Mayo)

Edited to Add: Want to get rid of some of your romances too? The less purple ones can be sent to the men (I had a lot of male cross-over readers for romantic suspense novels--Lisa Jackson had a huge following), but for where to send to the general troop population (which has a lot of ladies these days) you can check out: Thanks to Darlene for pointing that out over at Smart Bitches and Marta Acosta for pointing out to the ladies that there are a lot of other places to donate to. Women's shelters sometimes have restriction on what they will and will not take, however, so check them out before you send.


Amie Stuart said...

BTW I ran into some girl scouts and the woman sellin them said you can buy the cookies and they'll ship them out to the troops--just an FYI (I don't think/know if you get to specify where they go) =)

and if you're sending all books and it's an APO address you can send them media mail and save on postage for whatever that's worth.

I'll email you when I get to work.

Robin L. said...

How do you know where to send them? I've never addressed things to troops before - is there an actual address in Afganistan?