Do you remember C.A.R.E. packages? When I was growing up, I would see many commercials about CARE. CARE (www.care.org) is a world relief organization. They work to bring relief all over the world to those in need. I can still see pictures of the packages in mind; big boxes with the word “CARE” stenciled on the side. It’s interesting how that phrase has stayed in our vernacular. We talk about sending care packages to a student, a soldier, or an inmate. Well, even though they don’t advertise as much on television, I’m happy to say that C.A.R.E. is still around. They rely on donations to supply aid wherever it is needed in the world, and are rated 3 stars out of 4 by Charity Navigator. This is another way to reach out to our brothers and sisters, giving whatever we can, knowing that it may mean the difference between life and death for some.
There are other care packages that we can put together and send. A group called Support Our Troops, Inc. (https://www.supportourtroops.org/) works to ship its own type of care packages to our troops stationed overseas. There is a wide variety of goods you can send: $25 Visa and MasterCard Gift cards, phone cards, unscented personal hygiene and feminine hygiene care products, sunscreen, magazines (as long as they are of a clean content), AA and AAA batteries, movies and music on thumb drives, blank thumb drives, laundry PODS packed in a sturdy plastic or metal container, tobacco and tobacco products, hard candies, cookies, corn nuts, granola, protein or snack bars, gum, rice krispie treats, tree nuts, Slim Jims and beef jerky. They will also accept books, as long as they are not romance. They will NOT take peanuts, cocoa, porn, alcohol or drugs, anything that melts like chocolate, gummi bears, or marshmallow peeps. Please make sure that all items are in easy open cans or pouches. At my place of employment we had several care package drives for one of our employees who was deployed overseas. We procured a flat-rate box from the United States Postal Service, set it in a common place and proceeded to fill it with goodies. Ship your package to: Support Our Troops, 13617 North Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33613. All packages will be forwarded to our troops. Please include a print-out of a digital photo of your group and make sure any cards or letters are unsealed. If you prefer, you can make an on-line donation via their donation page. This is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations are tax-deductible.
You can even send care packages to the troops who work with our K9 soldiers! Support Our Troops has a Military Paws Support Program which works to supply dog supplies for our soldier dogs and their handlers. These soldiers work tirelessly with their human cohorts, shouldering their share of the load and keeping the humans safer. The United States has more than 2,000 military dogs deployed worldwide. Cash donations help with shipping and handling costs for sending supplies overseas and other expenses. Or, if you like the idea of putting together a canine care package, they would like the following items: K9 cooling vest, booties, cooling mat and cooling collar, K9 goggles, K9 collapsible nylon dog bowl, K9 3″ rubber ball, large rope chews, K9 eye drops, K9 ear wash, K9 Advantix, flea and tick treatment, K9 salve for paws and noses, towels to wipe paws, K9 shampoo and conditioner, K9 grooming tools such as combs and brushes, K9 beds and pillows, K9 toothpaste and brush, 1 pound boxes of K9 biscuits, K9 jerky, and K9 food and treats. Please only send first class, brand new items. Include copies of the purchase receipts so the donations can be cross-checked for safety. Also include your name, address and phone number on both the inside and outside of the box. If this is a group donation, please include a print-out of a digital picture of your group and a note about why you are making this donation. The dogs and their handlers will be very grateful.
Just one last note: I was in our local YMCA on Saturday and noticed a collection container for pop tabs. This gives us an additional place to donate them.
Bye for now,
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
Martin Luther King