We have a close friend who is stationed in Afghanistan and he doesn't have much family. Our family has kind of adopted him into ours. We are wanting to sending him a package of comforters to let him know that we consider him family and we care.
Does anyone have suggestions for what to send, what not to send, what is not allowed to be sent to troops? Also, does anyone have tips for sending food items, such as boxes of Little Debbie cakes? We've asked anyone who wants to add something to the box to let me know, but we're a little lost on ideas.
We, too, sent items to our nephew stationed in Afghanistan. He needed socks so we sent them and he also needed bed sheets. Some of the things we also sent were dry soups, powdered drinks, Slim Jims, hard candies, toothpaste, hand wipes, suntan lotion, and Chapstick. We also had some current magazines that we had and included them.
We were told we could not send alcoholic beverages nor prescription drugs. Also, we were told that the US Post Office is the only service it could be sent by. UPS, Fed Ex do not deliver to Afghanistan. We did not check into this, we just sent ours through the Postal Service.
Hope this helps. (04/08/2005)
How sweet. I do stuff with: anysoldier.com
And they have given me some ideas. Linda hit on a lot of good sending topics. Basically you can't send items that will spoil, and remember how hot it gets over there so items like gum may easily melt. There are a lot of requests for common supplies from soldiers like personal hygiene items (soap, shampoo, deodorant), playing cards, and magazines. There are as also a lot of requests for things likes Easy Mac, Ramen soup, beef jerky, and junk food.
A lot of places where soldiers are stationed, if there are market places they sell stuff where the quality isn't that great and jack up the prices. From what I have learned from the site, the letters from people from home are what are most appreciated. Just to know someone is thinking about you and that what they are doing is not in vain, is so important. Its so nice that you are doing this. I wish there were more people out there like you. (04/09/2005)
An internet site named AnySoldier.com will give you wonderful ideas. Our church has sent more than 70 "care packages". You can not send pork products, fruit, and any type of pornographic materials or risque pictures. This site also lists what else you can not send. Soldiers are looking for, in general, baby wipes (for bathing), sunscreen, bug repellent, personal care items, snack items (don't send chocolate as it will melt, the hot months are just now beginning), magazines, DVDs, CDs, word puzzle books, pencils and pens, stationary and envelopes, Ramen noodles, snack chips, powdered drink mixes, and hundreds of other items.
Please remember that custom forms have to be filled out and additionally, the U.S. Postal Service now has a somewhat new type of corrugated box that will hold a lot of stuff. The box is free, but postage costs a flat $7.70 (it did in January, anyway) and the most we have been able to get in there was 13.9 pounds. The customs form is a bit tricky for the first time or two. Take the time to call or visit your post office and ask what you can and can not do; it's time well spent. (04/11/2005)
When sending any powdered drink mixes remember to use presweetened, as they need to be able to pour this immediately into their canteens, they won't have sugar to mix with it there. If you'd like to send candy bars, the only one that won't melt is Hershey's Zero candy bar it's considered "the construction worker's candy bar" as they can put it on the machine or windshield dash and it won't melt. I recently gave a pal a bunch of freebie samples I'd gotten online to send to her husband and his buddies stationed in Iraq. (04/11/2005)
Also, don't send any liquor as it won't make it to the intended person. I know of someone who sent some Jack Daniels masqueraded in a Listerine bottle to someone in Iraq, but he never got it. (04/11/2005)
I have a brother in Iraq and he just requested cheap flip-flops to wear to shower in. Of course, we send him stuff that he asks for so it's kind of easy for us, but he asks for M and Ms, tuna, Vienna sausages.
The dry soups and powdered drink mixes that were mentioned are good ideas. The small microwavable cans of Chef Boyardee and other brands of soups and pastas are great. They don't "have" to be microwaved and can just be eaten "as is". Maybe some plastic forks and spoons.
My brother tells me that he has enough toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc., but the problem he has is that the water is so "hard" over there that he has a terrible time rinsing off. Someone gave him some body wash and it rinses off easier. Also different sizes of Ziplock bags are useful for them.
The magazines are a great idea as well. My dad has subscribed to some of my brother's favorites (he loves the show truck, ATV, etc. mags) and sends them when he sends a box and throws in our local weekly paper as well.
Once you send him a few things, you could ask him to write you back and let you know specifically things he needs. (04/11/2005)
marineparents.com will give you a list of items to be sent (your person in the service doesn't have to be a marine to get this). (04/12/2005)
verybestbaking.com will give you recipes to send to your troops.
Try these as they will send your soldier a care package: email@example.com and so will firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
I also have a son in Afghanistan.
My husband is in Afghanistan and has asked me to send tuna, beef jerky, gum, drink mixes (water gets old), sunflower seeds. I've also sent breakfast bars and fruit snacks (both seem to travel well). I send cookies and gum for all the other guys. My husband loves cards. I send letters regularly, but his favorite is the cards. I also send him birthday cards so he can write a note and send to his friends when he can. (08/31/2008)
I have come up with many things to send over to my guy in Afghanistan. True, they do have a PX, but by the time my guy gets there, most of the supplies are already sold out (he only gets to go there about once a month) - so especially toiletries are sold out.
Some ideas on what to send them starting with a few original ideas I've come up with:
By MW skipper
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