Support Your Heroes and Get Involved: 2011 Holiday Care Package Drive

No matter how you feel about the war or politics, we should never forget those who are fighting for our freedom every day, especially during the holidays.

Several years ago, I would work with my family to pull together care package drives for the troops during the holiday season, and we would send ~500 packages overseas each year with the help of our community. We would bundle up and collect donations while sitting in the back parking lot of my family’s hardware store, selling hot apple cider and popcorn to raise $ to cover shipping costs. It is one of my favorite memories.

Last year I wanted to continue the tradition, but knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it back east to collect items at the store. I thought, with all of the bloggers/twitter friends we have on here, why not do a “virtual” drive?  If every reader sent 1 package overseas we could have a few hundred packages out the door; and if they spread the word to their readers, we could send even more. In fact, the lovely (and sweet) Abby of Superburbs saw my post, and sent packages of her own!

This year I’d like to do it again, and would love your help. If you are located in CT, you can stop by Page Hardware (9 Boston Street, On the Green) and my cousin Jenifer Page will be collecting donations this weekend). If not, Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Go to anysoldier.com to pick a soldier (or 2, or 3) and register to receive their address. Tell them Jacin (Page) Fitzgerald referred you.  I work with anysoldier.com every year and they have a huge database of marines/army/air force/navy.
  2. Once you decide on a recipient, you can read their “wish list” of items requested.  If nothing is listed - besides holiday treats (no home-cooked items, unfortunately) - the following items are always a good bet: toiletries (remember the ladies!), socks, t-shirts, shoe inserts (for comfort), books, magazines (appropriate), etc.
  3. MAKE SURE to check out the what NOT to send list so you can make sure everything you put in the package will make it to the deserving recipient
  4. Don’t want to send a full package?  Even a card makes a big difference. I’ve partnered with local schools to have classrooms draw cards, and included them in shipments. You’d be amazed what a handwritten note of thanks can do for a soldier’s morale.

It really takes no time at all to pull together even just one package, and I know the creative spirit is out there with all you bloggers and designers! Have fun with it! The ideas are endless and during this season of giving, it is so important to remember our men and women who are fighting for the freedom we are blessed with every day.

Help Spread The Word!
There are many ways to help keep this going: reblog the idea using the image above, tweeting about it using #CarePackageDrive, or re-posting on Facebook.  Let’s see if we can use social media for a good cause to make this a real success and help to brighten spirits this holiday season! If you do send packages, let me know, I’d love to see what you come up with!

Thank you!

  • bethany says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    Um…yes! Participating! What a fabulous idea, Jacin.

    I am such a softie and totally cried while reading though a handful of the requests…but am super excited to have found one from girls in Kuwait requesting magazines, hairspray, girlie things and, hilariously enough, hot sauce for the chow hall. :)

    Really excited to make a special care package this weekend. :)

    Thanks for sharing the idea!

  • Jessica Beer says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    Such an amazing way to be involved. We will be signing up :)

  • Abi says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    You are so incredibly sweet! And speaking on behalf of my hubs who received care packages when he’s deployed- it truly sincerely does make a difference!!

  • libby says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    Thank you!!! My brother is currently deployed so I hope he pops up on your list. Please let me know how else I can help…other than participating and spreading the word…anything I can do!!

  • Laura *You Stir Me* says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    I remember seeing this last year on Abby’s blog and crying/smiling/wishing I had helped! This is such a fantastic idea - I love that Page Hardware has been doing this for years! So so important to support those who need it most:) Great idea, Jacin - I’ll help out spreading the word!

  • Koru Kate ⎨Koru Wedding⎬ says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    I’m so grateful for our troops- I’m in!

  • birdie to be says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    Such a lovely idea! Great post.

    Btw… what font did you use at the top (2011 Holiday…) Diy-ing my invites and looking for font options :)

  • Aleah + Nick Valley says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    Such a wonderful idea…you are so thoughtful and kind. That’s one of the many reasons why we adore you!

  • Lena says on November 16, 2011 Reply

    What a wonderful way to give back and say thank you! I love this!

  • Erin * Sparkle & Hay says on November 17, 2011 Reply

    10000% doing this!!

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