2018-2019 National Veterans & Family Support Ambassador
Ten Items to Include in a Care Package
The men and women who serve this country on land, on sea and in the air, are very appreciative of the things that are sent to them from home. When we let them know how much they are appreciated for the sacrifices they make to keep our nation safe and protect our freedoms, we make an impact. Reaching out to our troops tells them that they are not alone when deployed. We are telling them with each package sent that the VFW Auxiliary is 100% behind what they do, and that we are here for them, while deployed as well as when they come home.
Care packages are fantastic! They are greatly anticipated. They are always welcomed. They are filled with goodies. They brighten someone’s day. They bring smiles to faces far from home. They send messages of support. They tell the VFW Auxiliary story. Just think about the impact one care package can make to our troops and for our organization!
Care packages are usually sent to valid APO/FPO military addresses and contain items that are needed or requested by units that are deployed. Addresses and lists of items requested can be found in a lot of ways, but I recommend that you start by contacting your VFW Post and/or Department for suggested units to support. We need to remember that not every branch of the service has the same needs so we should keep in mind who we are sending packages to when we assemble them. Commonly requested items for care packages include:
- Bags of good ground coffee.
- Beef Jerky and Slim Jims.
- Candy (more candy, less chocolate because of melting) – i.e. gummy bears, Swedish fish, bubble gum, hard candies and lollipops.
- Healthy snacks (granola bars, trail mix, protein bars or powders).
- Current issues of magazines (hunting, cars or video games), sudoku/puzzle books and comic books.
- Kid toys like Etch A Sketch and Silly String.
- Things to keep cool – i.e. insulated water jugs, hand-held electric fans, first aid ice packs, wicking bandanas, clothes, cloths – preferably tan/brown/black.
- Good sunglasses.
- Baked goods that are packed so they don’t get smashed. It can take at least three weeks for packages to arrive at their destination.
- A card or letter to the troops telling them that the VFW and VFW Auxiliary support them 100%.
A VFW Auxiliary can apply for a VFW Community Support Grant for up to $1,000 to assist with sending care packages to troops. The guidelines and application for this grant can be found on the VFW website.
I “Believe We Can Do It” – We can let those deployed from around the nation know that we support them and they are not forgotten. We can guarantee that the VFW Auxiliary is remembered because we care. Join me in sharing with our troops that we can and will be there for them!