Give Back: Send a care package to female soldiers

by Angela Davis on May 23, 2012

Alright, readers, it’s time to put your stockpile to use for a fantastic cause!

I received an email from a reader about a group of female Army soldiers stationed in Afghanistan from Fort Lewis, Washington (JLBM) that need our help. There is a camp of about 3000 soldiers being served by a small team of officers working to prevent and treat combat fatigue and other stress (find out more about Combat Stress Control here). Many of these folks have been on multiple deployments and with the war’s unpopularity, these soldiers are really struggling.

We have a specific request to help out a group of about 300 female soldiers. These women have limited access to personal care items, including tampons. For example, they only have sanitary pads available and considering that they are serving in the desert, well, as you can imagine, they are not functioning in the most ideal working conditions. Yes, I am also wondering who exactly is making the supply decisions for these women…

Basically, our girls need our help. These soldiers have low morale and need to know that people care about what they are doing and how they are doing.

As we approach Memorial Day, I believe one of the best ways to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country is to honor those who are sacrificing their lives daily for our country.

I have a crazy idea. Let’s send out 300 care packages, packed with tampons and other essentials, to let these women know that they are valued and cared for. Would you consider sending one of the 300 needed packages this week as your family’s way of acknowledging Memorial Day?

Here’s what you need to do:

Raid your stockpile and hit the store to fill a box with some (or all) of the following items:

  • Tampons* (I don’t have any tampons, so I used pads for the visual, but go for tampons)
  • Baby wipes* (Once a week showers, so baby wipes are a hot commodity!)
  • Body wash, soap (bag soap up several times so it doesn’t stink up the entire box), facial cleanser
  • Toothpaste, oral care products
  • Deodorant
  • Razors (don’t send shaving gel as it will probably explode in transit)
  • Body lotion, facial lotion with SPF
  • Sun block
  • Hair ties/bands, bobby pins, hair gel
  • Foot spray, baby powder
  • Lip care
  • First aid items, pain reliever
  • Batteries
  • Snacks (don’t send chocolate, perishable food, etc. Remember, it’s a desert and chocolate melts). DO NOT SEND HOMEMADE ITEMS. Soldiers will throw them away for safety.
  • Hard, individually wrapped candy, gummies, fruit snacks, cookies, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, microwave popcorn, instant oatmeal, Top Ramen, etc.
  • Meat & cheese packs that don’t need refrigeration (like Hickory Farms items). Do not send pork products.
  • Gum, mints
  • Flavored drink mix packs (Crystal Light, Gatorade mixes, MIO), instant coffee (Starbucks VIA), 5-Hour Energy
  • Washcloths, hand towels
  • DVDs, books, magazines, music CDs, audio books (these items can be used)
  • Drawings from your kids or grandkids, a picture of your family or your dog
  • An encouraging note or card. Include your email and mailing address so your soldier can correspond with you if she wishes. Including a pre-addressed envelope, paper and a pen will increase the chances your soldier will reply. Please note that you may not receive a reply. These women are busy and may not find the time to send a letter or an email.

*These are items the officer serving these women specifically asked for.

I found a suggestion that everything be put in double baggies to keep odors from leaking and so anything that melts doesn’t contaminate the entire box. Put the item in one baggie and seal it, then put it in another baggie upside down and seal it.

Next, get a customs form from the Post Office. There is a form available online, but some people are having a hard time making the field limitations work.

Also, get a large flat rate Priority Mail box from the Post Office. If they aren’t available in the display at the front, ask for one from the back. My post office was out of regular large boxes, but had a special military box in the back. Ask for that if you’re having a hard time finding a regular one (either large box will work).

You will pay $13.45 shipping for a large flat rate box to a military post. I know, $13.45 is a lot of money, but I will not tolerate any belly aching about the cost involved. These women don’t have TAMPONS. Pony up the cash.

Now, cram that box full of as much stuff as you can. You’re paying the same price no matter how much it weighs, so try to break the record. Don’t worry about brands, or sizes or anything like that. If your specific recipient doesn’t need an item, she will pass it along to someone who does.

Lastly, fill out your customs form and mail that bad boy out (if you’re nervous about the customs form, just ask the post office clerk to help you when you mail it). Here’s the address:

UPDATE as of February, 2014: I have lost my contact, so I suggest you check out AnySoldier.com where you will find a gigantic list of overseas military personnel asking for care packages and other assistance for their unit or people under their command. You will find requests from as early as today listed. You’ll have to register with the site and request the address information, but I believe this to be the very best and up-to-date resource available. Find the list of personnel here.

This small team of officers will make sure the boxes get to the women serving in the field.
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My father served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. I will probably never know the sacrifice my dad (and my mom living with him all these years after his service) truly has made serving our country. In my dad’s honor, our family will be packing and sending out ten care packages this week.

So, are you in? If so, leave a comment and let us know how many boxes you are sending and if you’re doing it in honor of anyone. Be sure to take a picture of your box before you send it out and email it to me or post it on our Facebook page. I will share some pictures with all of you over the next week!

Your package will be appreciated anytime you send it, but we would love if the first 300 were sent by May 30 (Memorial Day).

image credit

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{ 188 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen August 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Just wondering if this is still going on?

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Kate from Frugal Living NW August 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm

No, this was an older post. They were overwhelmed with the initial response so we haven’t promoted it.

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Jaylene November 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Looking at sending up to 20+ packages, what happens to unneeded boxes?

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Rachel August 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I have multiple boxes prepared, too!
What is the most recent address as of today (8.30.12)?
I would like to mail as soon as possible.
Thanks so much!

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Natasha August 28, 2012 at 9:06 am

I have another box ready for female soldiers, should I mail it to the mail address right above?

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Cindy June 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I need an address to mail my packages for the troops that was requested around Memorial day. I am one of the 300 but with limited time just now got it all together and ready to ship out. Noticed after June 15 you need to contact the frugal living at gmail and I did that but both emails came back.
Help.
I need an address to send the stuff I purchased to the lady troops.
Thank you,
Cindy

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Julie June 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Cindy, I had the same problem, so I just posted the dilemma on the what I think is the home page, as a comment. under the Hansen’s soda deal.
Julie.

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Julie June 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Cindy– I got a response from frugalliving, and here is the current info. from that email: The info we have is that the supplies are for Camp Salerno in Afghanistan which was hit by Al Queda. Their PX (store for personnel) and chow hall were hit. These soldiers are now eating MRE’s and are in need of non-perishable food and personal care supplies. If the box is for a female, write female on the box somewhere.
This is the address:

SGT Fretheim, Glen
A-Co 4BCT (Abn)
25th In.Div. TF Spartan
FOB Salerno
APO-AE 09314

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Teri June 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

How long is this address good? Is this something we can do on a regular basis, or is this a one time thing?

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Angela June 15, 2012 at 10:46 am

Teri: Email me for the current address!

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Julie June 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm

May I also have the current address? Thank you.
Julie.
tintulip@hotmail.com

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Teri June 24, 2012 at 7:52 am

I did email, but didn’t get a response. I would love to help support these ladies on a regular basis. Personally, I can only do a little bit, but if enough people could help, it would make a big difference!

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Julie June 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Teri, please email me tintulip@hotmail.com if you get any sort of a response or any other information regarding these care packages. I have a pile of stuff in my dining room that people have donated to this cause, and don’t know what to do with it.

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Julie June 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Teri– I got a response from frugalliving, and here is the current info. from that email: The info we have is that the supplies are for Camp Salerno in Afghanistan which was hit by Al Queda. Their PX (store for personnel) and chow hall were hit. These soldiers are now eating MRE’s and are in need of non-perishable food and personal care supplies. If the box is for a female, write female on the box somewhere.
This is the address:

SGT Fretheim, Glen
A-Co 4BCT (Abn)
25th In.Div. TF Spartan
FOB Salerno
APO-AE 09314

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Teri July 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Thanks, Julie, I did get a response with the address. I just haven’t been on in a while, so I didn’t get to send it to you.

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Wendy June 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I was pleasantly surprised when the post office person told me my priority medium sized box was only $11.35 because it was going to an APO zip code. She also said I could sent the large sized box for only $2 more instead of the stated price. The larger one holds another 50% more. Great idea to size up when I sent another box. One does not need to have a holiday to suggest one send a box off to these heroic women.

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Julie June 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I have a total of $250 in donations for care packages! Will ask a local grocery store on Monday if they will donate items.

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Amy June 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm

My mom and I are sending a box!

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Rochelle June 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Two boxes just went out from us in honor of my husband’s grandfather. Joseph Henry Hougak was awarded a Purple Heart for his heroic actions on the beach of Iwo Jima in WWII. Grandpa Joe went to be with the Lord last September.
Thank you for this opportunity to give back. It feels good :)

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Jessica June 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I just sent out two boxes for them. Such a good idea, thank you :)

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Devin June 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Oops forgot to take a picture, but sending mine out tomorrow!

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Julie June 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Is anyone keeping a tally to see how far we all are on the way to the 300 boxes?

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jodie June 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I counted at least 166 up to this post… Assuming nobody posted twice. With a strong likelihood of more since a lot of people were collecting donations to fill boxes and many said they would “at least” send out 1-2…. That’s not an official count though! :)

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Julie June 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm

How exciting!! This is awesome. Wish there was an official website for this team of officers that have the job of helping soldiers with the stresses of battle and multiple deployments. I emailed Ft. Lewis public relations asking about this, but no reply. A local (Bellingham, WA) credit union wants to donate, but needs more specific information first. It’s hard to know what to tell them! But I will just send the info all of us have here, and see what happens.

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Carol June 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

I just got an email from the recipient of my care package! Thank you for putting the word out about this wonderful effort and I know the women who are receiving them are very happy! I will be sending out another in the near future.

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Teri May 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm

One box going out tomorrow! Love this idea, thanks for getting this project going.

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Natasha May 31, 2012 at 10:58 am

Just sent two care packages out with the help of my friend and her co workers. My team at my work place sent out 2 boxes about 2 weeks ago as well for another group of soldiers. I’ve decided to continue to gather items for the troops, I’m sure there is always a need.

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Stefanie May 31, 2012 at 8:56 am

The ladies in my office all came together on this project and have enough stuff to mail 5 boxes! They will be in the mail today and pictures are coming soon!

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Tana Pender May 31, 2012 at 8:25 am

Mine will have to go out tomorrow….Hope that is still okay?

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Angela May 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

Oh, yes! You’re totally good. I still haven’t sent my packages out yet. There is no way you’ll be more of a slacker than me :).

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Amanda May 31, 2012 at 12:06 am

I sent out 2 boxes today – thanks so much for the great idea! It was actually on my summer bucket list to write a letter to a soldier overseas, but sending care packages was an even better idea! Feel free to use the pictures that I posted on my blog if you’d like: my100daysofsummer.wordpress.com.http://my100daysofsummer.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/38-write-a-letter-to-a-soldier-overseas/.

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Angela May 31, 2012 at 8:30 am

Wow, Amanda! That is so cool! Thanks for leaving us the link!

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Kim May 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Was able to get 6 boxes ready with help from friends. A concern was brought up that there would be too many sent…is there any way to know that it will indeed reach our soldiers?

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Angela May 31, 2012 at 8:29 am

I totally understand your concern. We are sending the boxes directly to the officer in charge of combating stress and fatigue for 3000 soldiers. She has informed her post office that she will be getting tons of boxes and they are ready to handle the volume. I am very confident that her team can handle the amount of packages sent and will distribute them to the neediest soldiers.

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Leanna May 30, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I have to admit that when I first saw this post, I just skimmed over it.

But then came Memorial Day. I clicked on your site, and I saw the photo’s of care pkgs people were sending out. And it really touched me and motivated me.

My pkg went out today.

Thank you.

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Connie May 30, 2012 at 10:48 am

Sending two boxes today, thanks for alerting us of this need!

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Lulu May 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

Sending out our box today! :)

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Keri May 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Leave it to me to delete the picture from the camera (argh!) but thank you for posting this. It was a wonderful thing to do for someone who does so much for us. Being able to put this together with my 2 daughters (ages 21 and 2) and granddaughter made it all the more special. Thank you so much!

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Maria May 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Oops

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Maria May 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm

2 boxes going out tomorrow

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Maria May 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

We sent 2 packages

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rheap May 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

1 box sent. :) thanks for this opportunity to show our support and gratitude.

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Tatyana May 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I am willing to send 2 packages By the 30th.

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mandi May 29, 2012 at 8:18 am

I dont know if I would suggest chocolate when my husband was in Iraq I tried chocolate once and it was ruined. Maybe Afganistan is different but I know it was well into the hundreds and his chocolate melted…

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Stacy May 29, 2012 at 7:56 am

Great idea! I have LOTS of extra tampons in my stockpile so I’ll send them a whole box of boxes! :)

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Ginni Candelaria May 29, 2012 at 5:39 am

Hi Again! I originally committed to sending 2 but asked my fb family & friends if theyd like to chip in. I think we’re up to 8,9 or possibly 10 now. I spent yesterday gathering & organizing my coupons to get more supplies. Ill be doing my shopping & packing tomorrow. And hopefully putting them in the mail on Thurs. I hope that’s not too late. Thanks again for organizing this!

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Angela May 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

Oh, you’re never too late! And up to 10 boxes — this is fantastic! Please thank everyone for us!

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Pam B. May 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I just got a box packed. Very fun to pick out stuff and squeeze in as much as possible!

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Charla May 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I didn’t see this till today (May 28) but I’ll do my best to get a box ready in the next couple days. I’ll be headed to the PO anyway to send one to my son.

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Angela May 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm

You have plenty of time, Charla! Thanks for your help!

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Lani May 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

My sister served in Afghanistan last year (and going back again in a few weeks). She could never get enough baby wipes and lotion. Many of the FOBs do not have showers and the air is pretty dry in most areas. She also loved reading materials (even though she wasn’t a reader) since there isn’t much to do on their time “off”.

Thank you everyone for helping!

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Kelly May 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

My box is packed and ready to mail tomorrow! So thankful for our troops!

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Valerie May 28, 2012 at 12:32 am

Hello:)
Definately sending a box. I was going to send a “Shape” magazine, but according to the USPS, you cannot send out “Any matter depicting nude or seminude persons”. Do you think this would count??? Also, although you recommend to send out “meat and cheese packs”:), they cannot be pork products?!
Thanks

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Angela May 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I have not heard any restrictions lately on pork products, but I could be wrong. As for Shape, I think you’re okay. I know units receive Maxium and other magazines you and I would definitely qualify as semi-nude :).

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CC May 29, 2012 at 9:41 am

You cannot send pork products or porn to predominately Muslim countries, out of respect for their religious beliefs. US personnel are guests in their country, and customs requirements are created with that in mind.

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Angie May 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Will be sending 1 box out this week!

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Lea May 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I’ve started putting together stuff for my box. My son was in the Army years ago, stationed in Panama, and he has said how much some of those items are appreciated (obviously not tampons, but he understood right away how inconvenient pads were in a desert situation). He also said if there are things they don’t care for it makes for good trading stock!

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Amanda May 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm

i’ll be sending one out this week!

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Ginni Candelaria May 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I’ve gathered supplies for 2 boxes bit now that I’m looking at it, it may be enough for 4 ;). Thanks so much for informing us about this.

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Julia May 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I am against the war, but I couldn’t be more supportive or proud of the folks serving! They sacrifice so much for us. I’d be happy to send 1 or 2 boxes, but they may not get out until Tuesday (my PO is already closed). I tried to do this before, but the problem I had was filling out the forms…they needed exact quantities and value of everything in the box, and it was such a pain I abandoned the project (I still feel bad about this!). So I still have some stuff on hand, but I keep the care packages in the back seat of my car (labeled M or F), and just pass them out to homeless folks I come across while I’m out and about.

Has anyone had trouble with the post office forms? Should I make a detailed list of what’s in the box? Thanks for the any responses, and thanks for coordinating this–what a nice tribute! It would be great to have a once-a-month shipment to a different unit!

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JW May 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I think it depends on your post office. My mom sent hers and all she had to write was “hygiene products” and “candy.” No amounts required, no details.

My post office is making me list out each type of item. But I’m just guesstimating for weights. I doubt they really need to know if it’s 1.5 pounds of magazines and .4 pounds of deodorant and 1.2 pounds of lotion, etc.

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Connie May 26, 2012 at 8:10 am

I’m in. I have a big supply of INSTEAD cups and will send those as well as tampons. They are like a disposable diaphragm that “collects” rather than absorbs. Remove and reuse if necessary.

I tried to enter the APO address into my postage software and it wouldn’t take it. Any corrections on that address?

Thanks for doing this!

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Angela May 26, 2012 at 12:22 pm

The address is correct. Perhaps your program won’t let you print off postage to overseas military posts because you need the customs form to go along with it?

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Zandria May 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Some friends and I packed up two boxes tonight and are sending them out tomorrow. Thanks for letting us know about this!

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Arlene May 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I have one ready to go, just have to get customs form filled out. I did figure out that you can just enter “none” in the phone box, and it will proceed to the next page. I entered ” toiletries” as an item, but was reading on the customs form I picked up at the post office that you may not use “toiletries”–they want more detail. I have 20+ items to list. Maybe someone who has sent one of these knows if you need to list each and every item. This was a wonderful, crazy idea and it feels so good to do a little something for those women who are giving so much.

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k May 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Packed ours tonight sending out 1.

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jen May 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Working on my box. Perusing the comments I see Walgreens has a better deal than I got at Target but will still share. Although I didn’t have any coupons for tampons on hand, something told me to go down that aisle. They have most types of Kotex buy 3 get $5 gift card. And a coupon fairy had left coupons for Kotex on the opposite shelf. Was able to get 3 boxes, some activity books, going to look around my house for magazines and books, wet wipes, pretty soaps, found at the Dollar Tree a package of 5 bath poofies, and some candies.
I’ve raided my stash of coupons to be sent to the base in Japan for some items I saw on clearance at Target to be sent to the girls.

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michelle May 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I’m in.

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Julie May 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Holy Toledo — I just got a donation for $200!!!

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Brandi May 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Awesome!

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Julie May 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Oh no– What if the packages don’t get there by Memorial Day? Will the supplies still get to the address you gave, and then distributed??

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Angela May 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Oh, the packages don’t need to arrive by Memorial Day. The big push is for as many people as possible to mail them by Wednesday.

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Julie May 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I just sent out a request for supplies and postage donations to 9 of my friends.

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Carol May 25, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Just finished packing a large box full of assorted goodies!

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Karen May 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I’m also stymied by the phone number box for the addressee. It won’t go to the next page without it.

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Angela May 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm

You don’t need a phone number if you use the form at the post office.

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Brandi May 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Thanks for posting this great idea! We are going to do it. Thank you to those protecting our nation!

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Brandi May 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

We ended up shipping out two. Didn’t realize how much stuff I had/bought and the boxes weren’t as large as I thought. So glad to be blessing two military women!

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dawn May 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I’m in. I just saw this post and will get it together today and send by 5/26.

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sue May 25, 2012 at 11:46 am

Amazing idea. My husband is just getting ready for a deployment, so I can’t think of a better way to get some practice with my care packages! I have tons of extras I would love to send!

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JW May 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

I’m in for at least one and so is my mom.

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Marie May 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

Just finished packing up ten boxes. The owner of the company wants our troops to know we care.

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Jodi W. May 25, 2012 at 9:25 am

Oh my gosh! I just recently came upon boxes of tampons on clearance at Albie’s for $1 or less a box. I got so many for free with coupons thinking I’d never, ever have to buy a box of tampons again. When I got them home I realized I already had more than I needed. THIS is what those tampons were meant for! Thanks for this- putting together a box now!

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Angela May 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

Wow! Love this story!

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Jodi W. May 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Thanks Angela. Just posted a picture of my package to the facebook page!

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stupid question May 25, 2012 at 8:06 am

Great idea! I have three boxes of tampons I can’t use but I’ve used one from each box (trying new brands for my very sensitive body :p ). Would it be weird to include them? Obviously they’re all individually wrapped.

Either way, I’m in. I’ll send at least one and try to get others to participate too.

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Angela May 25, 2012 at 10:16 am

As long as the individual tampons are still sealed, you’re good. It will probably make packaging the box easier if you take them out anyway.

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Daystar May 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Love this idea, Will be sending one. wondering what to do with some of my stockpile. Thanks for the information. Wish we could do more.

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JM May 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Will put together a box ASAP. Wish I had the money to send 100 boxes!! I am so thankful for all they are going through for our freedom! Thank you for sharing this opportunity!

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Heather K May 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I have one ready to go. I will get it in the mail ASAP. I hope to before Memorial Day but I work and it may be difficult to get to the post office before Memorial Day. But I will try my best.

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Kati C. May 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

This is amazing!! Being a military wife, I know how much our troops love getting pretty much anything from back home. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you putting this together to show these ladies how much we appreciate them.

I wanted to share also, that you can actually get the customs forms online at usps here: http://webapps.usps.com/customsforms/

I use these forms all the time to ship care packages to our soldiers and they work great. If you fill out form 2976-A under the APO side, then you can just print it out (4 or 5 pages) and sign ‘em. Easy peasy!

Again, thank you!

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kris May 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

how can you fill out that form online?? it requires a phone number for the addressee?

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Susan May 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

Yeah, it’s dumb. Soldiers don’t have phones. (thinking about the Rocky Horror Picture Show). Just put in your phone number. it’ll work out just fine.

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Teri Duvall May 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I’ll send one in honor of my daughter, who is currently serving in the Navy, and for all of the 1% of our population who have and are currently serving our country. Thank you for posting this opportunity, with all of the specifics, to be able to bless those women who are so far away from their homes and families, and who will be so thankful for anything that they receive.

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melinda May 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm

HI
I will be sending at least one box, maybe two, hopefully by Tuesday next week.
Thanks for the info. Great way to pay back!!!

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Lisa May 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I have one going out tomorrow! Thanks for letting us know about this need.

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connie May 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm

But there’s also bound to be a chuckle when they’re suddenly inundated with a 100 (I hope) boxes of tampons!

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Pam May 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

This is great! Thanks so much for the info! So excited to help women soldiers out. We will send three boxes (one from each of my children), hopefully by tomorrow. I helped send boxes to a family friend back in 2008 when he was deployed to Afghanistan & it was such a fun way to show our support & give them a taste of home. I just imagined their faces when they open up the “gifts” (things we take for granted here). I’m tearing up just thinking about it. Will try sending a picture when we’re done. Thanks again!!

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Jennifer May 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Just so everyone knows you now have to list every single item you put in the boxes. I had to use 5 customs sheets to get it all on there.

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Lisa May 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I just generalized and they never questioned it at the post office.

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JW May 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I think it’s post office (or postal worker?) dependent. Mine required an itemized list. My mom’s said “hygiene products and candy” was fine, but my clerk said I had to list each individual hygiene product and kind of candy.

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Susan May 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

If one post office clerk gives you a hard time just scurry off to another post office! I’ve sent at least 100 boxes with vague descriptions such as 10 snacks and 10 hygeine items! Also the post office site has a page where you can request carrier pickup for free. They’ll pick it up from your front door, saving all the hassle of standing in line.

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MrsBott4u May 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I’m going to send out at least one package. Will try for two, but I have no stockpile, so will have to see if I can swing the costs for two boxes. What a great way to repay them!!

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Alicia May 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’ll get right on it!

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Andee Z May 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I’m in – and then I’ll post it on my own blog so hopefully we can get more people to contribute!

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Angela May 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Thanks, Andee! I appreciate it!

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connie May 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Would it be useful to them to also send expired coupons to them? Do these particular folks have a commisary in which to use them? My coupon club just decided to start sending out our expireds and I have not dug up the info to do this yet…

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kate May 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

They don’t have a commisary (those are typically on permanent bases, such as Germany and Japan). Here’s the info on sending coupons to our adopted base:

http://www.frugallivingnw.com/coupons-for-soldiers/

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kris May 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm

how can you fill out that form online?? it requires a phone number for the reciepient and i dont see a phone number on this post anywhere?

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kris May 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm

sorry replied to wrong post

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connie May 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Thank you- I’ll just send the goods then!

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Angie May 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm

My boss agreed to donate the funds for 2 boxes for me to fill with my stash. So excited. Will send out Saturday! Just a hint… As soon as I said tampons my boss just asked how much money I wanted to never say tampons to him again. Men are funny.

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Jerrilynn May 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Kotex U tampons are free this week with the coupon in 5/20 ss and a $3 register reward at Walgreens. Do you know if the RR will roll?

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Kate May 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm

They usually don’t. You could roll it to another RR and then roll back to this one.

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Howard May 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I received the $3 RR Sunday and returned Wednesday to buy another package of the U Kotex + an unrelated item. I did receive another $3 RR even though I turned in the one from Sunday toward the 2nd purchase.

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Krista May 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm

If you create an account online with USPS, and pay for postage online, the box is only $12.65! I am sending out 2 boxes today.

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crystal May 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I’m all for this! It’s so funny that I came across this, I was just thinkin earlier what the heck I was going to use these extra coupons for that weren’t the brand of tamponds I use. I’m so happy to help contribute will definitely spread the word! These women deserve this plus more!

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Amy H May 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Colleagues at work have donated almost $100 since hearing you on Bob Miller this morning. Using coupons I hope to fill as many boxes as possible. Thanks!

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Angela May 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Oh, hot dig! Please tell your co-workers thank you!

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Amy H May 30, 2012 at 9:13 am

UPDATE: I collected $200 and two bags of products. I’ve filled 6 boxes and am sending them out this week.

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TIA May 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Count me in for one. Will ship it out tomorrow. Such a SMALL way to say thank you for so very much that they do for us.

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Lisa May 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I am sending one box and am hoping my mother and sister will also. I am also going to forward your post to a bunch of friends. My grandpa was in the navy and my cousin was in the air force.

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Abby May 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I’ll be doing at least one box with my coworkers at Wells Fargo in Sweet Home. I have a stockpile just ready to be raided. As I’ve been pregnant and/or nursing for the last two and a half years, I have more than enough tampons to send!

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Sandie May 24, 2012 at 11:53 am

I have the products but not the funds to mail. So I am going to find someone to go in with me. So put us down for one. We are so thankful and grateful for all that our service people do for our country, it is the very least that we can do. Thank you Jesus for this opportunity to show them how much we care and bless and protect every single one of them.

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timelle rosen May 24, 2012 at 11:46 am

My sister forward this to me. She just got out and her hubby is about to deploy again…We are in for one box!!!! Lets work together to let our soldiers know they are not forgotten in their sacrifices.

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rebecca May 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

Count us in. I work in a small law firm in Salem and we are trying to get 2-3 boxes put together. Thanks for all the information. I always want to contribute to the cause, but dont always have the information at hand. Thanks to everyone else contributing to this great effort. Regardless if you are for or against the war, there are people in need. I dont know of anyone who thinks there should be homeless people…there just are, and they all need a little help sometime. Thanks for posting this. Im headed to the post office right now and will get our boxes going. :)

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Jill May 24, 2012 at 11:22 am

I would be happy to send one box.

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Lynn May 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

Quick question here…trying to get my box together that I signed up for last night. We have a jumbo pack of baby wipes (216 wipes; refill pack) Can I send that as is or should we break it down and put into ziploc bags? Thanks so much

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Kate May 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

As is is fine.

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jodie May 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

Count me in for 2. One will go out before memorial day (may 28), the second will go out next week. Thanks for organizing this, what a great idea.

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Tammy May 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

Put me down for 2 boxes being mailed today! Thank you for supporting our troops and posting about their needs. My grandfather served in the Army, my father was Navy, my brother-in-law is in the Marines and each have served in a war. I am beyond grateful for all those who serve and have served to protect our Country and Freedom!

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Debbie May 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

I just googled the form and you can get it online

http://webapps.usps.com/customsforms/cf2976_thankyou_APO.jsp

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Debbie May 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

We have also sent hard candies as they do not melt and m&m’s seem to work fine. This is a great idea, i am sending at least two right now. I will check the stockpile when I get home from work.

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Cheryl Bixby May 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

COUPONS!!! Does anyone know if these are sent to an overseas location with a commisary? If so, they can use coupons for 6 months after the expiration date. Maybe we can send all our old coupons too. I learned more about this, because my stepson is in the Air Force in TX.

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Angela May 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

Cheryl: I do not believe these soldiers have access to a commisary. If you have coupons you’d like to donate, check out our Coupons for Soldiers program!

http://www.frugallivingnw.com/coupons-for-soldiers/

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Nancy May 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

If anyone is interested in going in together on a box, please let me know. I recently went through my stash for Mother’s Day and made mummy boxes for friends and family and I have nothing right now but would love to do something!
couponlove2009@gmail.com

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Kait May 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

I will send one! Just a reminder for everyone, Kotex tampons are free this week at Walgreens, so load your boxes up with those! I really cannot believe that they do not supply these women with tampons.

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Jennifer May 24, 2012 at 10:15 am

@ Jennifer — When I was deployed (to Iraq) we received meat and cheese packs no problem.

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Jennifer May 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Thanks. I will send it in my pack today

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Jennifer May 24, 2012 at 10:05 am

Does anyone know if the Hickory Farms meat and cheese pack will be alright to send? They are all sealed and do not require refrigeration. I have a few leftover from the soldiers we adopted this Christmas. I am heading out today to the post office so I can drop a box off in the mail.

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Sue Barton May 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

Thank you for a great idea and wonderful information. I tried to get some stuff together years ago to send to the troops but without direction, I’m afraid I gave up. Now I have a way to help. Going to the store now!

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Angela May 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

I think one of the biggest detriments to our troops was eliminating the ability to send packages “to any soldier” like they were able to do in the past.

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Kim May 24, 2012 at 9:56 am

We will also send one out. I will actually be heading out to the post office tomorrow to send off some boxtops for my daughters school. Perfect timing!!

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Tessa D May 24, 2012 at 9:54 am

I just got out of the Army and my husband is still in. He deploys every year and they always ask for candy in individual wrappers so they last longer. They also love fruit snacks and cookies. I usually send my home made cookies but in this case it is best to by maybe chips ahoy or oreos.

I am committing to two boxes and I am going to try and get my parents to do another. These women do more then you can imagine and having small things that make them feel feminine when they are surrounded by men is always wonderful.

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Dianne May 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

I will put together one over the weekend and get it mailed by May 30. So grateful for the priveleges I have because they have served.

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lisa May 24, 2012 at 9:45 am

I’m working on mine right now.

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myranda b May 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

I will do at least two boxes, they are serving so I can be home safe with my daughters and I am so grateful!

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Samantha May 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

I love this idea! I am totally making one when I get home from work today. I’ll send you a pic when I’m done! :)

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Melissa May 24, 2012 at 9:26 am

Thank you for posting this- We will be sending out 2 boxes tomorrow. Makes my heart break that the women doing that kind of work for our country don’t have basic needs taken care of. God bless our soldiers.

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Vicki May 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

I am SO in. My youngest is on his second deployment. He’s the morale officer for his unit, and struggles to gather stuff to keep his people positive. For ex. they LOVE Snyder pretzels. On St.Patrick’s day he planned a root beer float party – the USAF in its infinite wisdom issued the root beer, but refused to supply ice cream. C’mon, really? These folks are risking their LIVES on our behalf. Let’s ALL of us do everything we can to brighten their day just a little. A note of encouragement included in the box will be a blessing, too.

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Taryn Mata May 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

I’ll get one together this weekend to send out. I currently serve and I am stationed in Germany. I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 and I loved getting a little something in the mail. I hope that I am able to cheer up a fellow Soldier.

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Angela May 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

Thank you for your service, Taryn. Please email me if you think of other specific items these women would appreciate and I’ll update the post!

frugallivingonline at gmail dot com

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ddr in Beaverton, OR May 24, 2012 at 9:14 am

We will mail a box. Thank you for posting this. We will get it done by tomorrow.

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valerie May 24, 2012 at 9:00 am

Thank you Thank you. im in and really appriciate the oppertunity. We love our soldiers.

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Claire May 24, 2012 at 8:55 am

I have a huge stockpile of feminine products –however most aren’t in the original box. Would it be OK to send loose tampons (in a ziploc or something) ?

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Taryn Mata May 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

Yes, it would be ok; as long as they are still in the seeled package (for sanitary reasons). But the orginal box is not neccessary.

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Angie May 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

Years ago I had a friend who after she moved away from home every time her mom sent her a care package she used tampons(still in wrapper but out of the box) as packaging peanuts. I thought this was an awesome idea for anyone who was sending to a starving student or newly on your own girl. The new Kotex click tampons work really well for this and you can get them for free! Imagine your joy if you needed tampons and when you dump out the contents of the box you see piles of tampons!

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marissa May 24, 2012 at 8:40 am

Count me in. I will sent at least one box. Hopefully I will be able to do more but I dont want to commits if i cant get it done. This/these will be sent out tomorrow.

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jennifer h May 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

Afghan customs does not handle the package, it goes to a us apo address and is handled by our military/post office only

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Cassandra May 24, 2012 at 8:34 am

I will get at least one out. More if I can!

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Heidi May 24, 2012 at 8:26 am

Count me in, I’ll mail it out tomorrow. Thank you for letting us know how to help.

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Michelle May 24, 2012 at 8:17 am

I’m in for one! This will be a very helpful visual for my kiddos and we parents as we discuss Memorial Day. Thanks for setting it up!

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Jill May 24, 2012 at 8:17 am

I’m in. Actually, my Girl Scout troop is in. We’re having an impromptu meeting this Sunday to celebrate our cookie sale successes…and there’s no better way to celebrate than by giving back with the proceeds. Plus, we love service projects! :D I’m going to commit us to sending out three boxes because I know we can and the girls will have a blast putting the boxes together and making cards to tuck inside.

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Nicole May 24, 2012 at 8:08 am

I have almost enough in my stash, BUT I DO NOT have the funds
I can go Halves with someone half stash half price
I live on the far east side if some one would like to share

I would like to help

Nicole

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Taryn Mata May 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

Nicole, please e-mail me… mrsbjmata@yahoo.com

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Charity May 24, 2012 at 8:08 am

I’m happy to send one. My only concern is that it will be seized or raided by Afghan customs when it gets into the country. How can we be certain that the packages get to their destination intact? Or that they get there at all?

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Angela May 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

As far as I understand, it’s sent through the US Postal Service directly to the military base.

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jennifer h May 24, 2012 at 8:39 am

Afghan customs does not handle the package, it is handled by the USPS, shipped to an APO and handled by our military. I had a friend stationed in Iraq for over two years and never had a problem with any of his packages.

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Debbie May 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

Charity, they will not be seized, it is true that only the USPS will handle the packages and once on the base they will be delivered to the proper person for distribution. Since they do not have specific names on the packages they will be given to whom ever is in charge of the women and distributed that way.
No need to worry, our ladies will get them, great question!

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mandi May 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

The packages will be just fine. They go straight to the base my husband spent 18 months in Iraq and I sent many boxes to him and his unit and they all made it there wih everything intact.It will be fine.

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Kim May 24, 2012 at 8:04 am

I recently got into the personal care side of couponing (baby steps for me) and I never pass up free or nearly free items of brands I don’t use for this very sort of thing. I recently put together 4 personal care packs for women specifically. I was just about to try to find a local womens shelter to donate them to, but I think this batch will now go to these women. I will modify and add to what I already have and get them out this week. I told my boss about this and asked if I could ship from here at work and he offered to cover the shipping costs for me!

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Angela May 24, 2012 at 8:16 am

Wow! How generous of your boss, Kim. Please thank him once again for us!

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Kim May 24, 2012 at 9:59 am

Can I put it all in one larger box to be divided amongst the women? Since my boss is being so generous, I would like to have them where I can.

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Kim May 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

*save them…

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Angela May 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Yes, that should be fine.

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Savanna May 24, 2012 at 8:00 am

Awesome! I will send one and my mother will too.

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Katie FOX May 24, 2012 at 7:57 am

Our family will send two boxes for these wonderful troops. Thank you for putting this challenge out there. If you need more boxes please let us know.

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Natasha May 24, 2012 at 7:50 am

I will go through my stash to send at least one box, we just did this through my work place and sent out 112 care packages.

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Lulu May 24, 2012 at 7:48 am

I can do one box! Will have my 6 year old help. What a great use for my stash and a lesson to my son that Memorial Day is more than a day off from work/school. Thanks for doing this!!!

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Roxanne May 24, 2012 at 7:26 am

Putting ours together now.

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Justin May 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

MY family will send at least 2 packages out more if we can or if i can get some other relatives to pitch in the price of sending. will someone be opening our care packages ? possibly not sending what we put into them?? i have a huge stock pile so will send big bottles of stuff if thats ok? please respond to my post to my email address here this one is my son-in-laws. calgon_take_me2003@yahoo.com

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Angela May 24, 2012 at 7:41 am

Yes, bottles are okay, just put each one in a separate ziplock. As for opening the packages, I don’t know exactly what you mean. I would assume the military opens or scans all packages for security before they reach the soldiers. I’m not sure if the officer in charge of the program will look in the packages before she hands them out to the soldiers. I was assured that all items will get to the women needing them.

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Kristina May 24, 2012 at 8:05 am

Your packages will not be gone through or opened by the military unless they believe something is in there that shouldnt be. Some of the rooms also have microwaves, soif you want to send non perishables they would be happy as well and candy there is never enough out there.

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jeanette s. May 24, 2012 at 6:33 am

Put me down for one box!! It will be fun to see my stash go somewhere useful!! :-)

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traci May 24, 2012 at 6:26 am

My family will put one together and send it out this week. My niece was in Iraq for 18 months but is home safe now. Thank you for a great idea on how to help these hardworking women.

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Melissa May 24, 2012 at 12:11 am

Ty for posting this. I will try to get some mailed out by Friday. These are hardworking women!

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Lynn May 23, 2012 at 11:50 pm

We are doing this for overseas troops at the church I attend, so I will make another box for these hard working gals! I will try and get mine mailed by this Friday and likewise, crammed full of goodies:-)

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ALRENA May 23, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I’m down with this. I will only be able to send one box, but I will stuff it as full as possible. Also I will not be able to get ii in the mail by May 31st as I will be visiting my daughter who is currently serving in the US Navy. However like you said. I know it will be appreciated any time I send it, and I will do my best to send it w/i the next week upon my return.

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