Ease of Adopting Your Own Hero at Homefront Hugs USA
March 29, 2017
ADOPTING A HERO WITH HOMEFRONT HUGS IS REALLY QUITE SIMPLE and THE NEED IS GREAT …American hearts needed especially now, politics aside . We have so many troops from all over the USA especially Michigan right now – men and women missing home ! Thank a soldier or airman or sailor or Marine with your students if you are a teacher !
If nothing else, share this page as we are losing too many troops and vets to suicide daily and this number has RISEN in the past 15 years causing grave concern at least to the few Americans paying attention . Support really matters.
As founder of Homefront Hugs, I do not sleep well knowing we have heroes waiting for support – whose names are not called at mail call, who go to sleep at night forgotten, alone . Even after 15 years, these troops and wounded veterans are never just numbers to us here at Homefront Hugs .
We are losing more than 20-24+ Active Duty troops and veterans to suicide DAILY. We agree just one lost veteran to suicide is one too many .
The thought of a deployed servicewoman or man having his or her last day on Earth as she or he serves and never felt the warmth and compassion of a stranger thanking them with a letter and small care package, is painful.
Imagine if your care package was the last and only care package a veteran received before they were wounded or worse . At least he or she would know, he or she was never forgotten by his or her country.
Right now, we have quite a few troops needing support and available for adoption and 55 care packages to ship .
If you cannot adopt – or just wish to help our missions where 100% of your donation is used for postage to mail monthly care – please go to our page ” Never Forget ” .
We fill the packages here at our national headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan and only ask for postage . You can also help here but we prefer you adopt ! 🙂
Click here to donate any amount towards postage
for an even faster safe link click here :
( $17.35 = the new exact amount of postage via USPS needed to mail one large flat rate care package which we fill with essentials & morale items- thank you so so much !)
55 care packages MUST ship now for March 2017 and need postage quickly . When donating any amount, please know 100% is used for postage . This is for our heroes serving and healing . Packages go to veterans healing in 8 critical hospitals and our deployed overseas . We never turn anyone away .
At Homefront Hugs, we serve all our men and women in uniform and military families without conditions .
If you are deployed or even have a loved one or friend who is and who could use support, just email Adoptions@HomefrontHugs.org too.
We will be glad to wrap him or her in support ! We want to prevent depression, PTSD, isolation and reduce stress as much as possible so our troops can focus on their missions safely and somehow we also prevent suicides from the front and back of their deployments .
We follow security/confidentiality = OPSEC, seriously, with no exceptions.
We wish you all the best this Spring 2017 as we strive to unite with one another across all differences /politics to make a real impact for our men and women in uniform. We need more Americans to step up and walk the walk now because our heroes need us .
Sincerely in peace – Shalom.
Alessandra and my son Ed Kellermann
Founders of Homefront Hugs USA
United States Air Force family
Ann Arbor, Michigan – Go Blue !
EST. October 11,2001
(click on images to enlarge)
🔶Answers to frequently asked questions with longadoption:
A) Can people help me fill my package?
Anyone can add to your package but no sharing the address and always make sure you know what is IN your package.
B) Can someone help me pay for postage?
Anyone can help you pay for postage ($4.00 to $16.75) depending what you send.
C) Will I go broke trying to send things twice a month to someone overseas ?
A magazine ( up to 2 mos old) and letter on copy paper count ! ( it’s not what you send – it’s the support that someone cared at all ) . And remember all your mail is US postage always through USPS.
D) Can I share my hero?
You can SHARE so you only send once a month and we find the other volunteer or send the package ourselves but we have to know who you are sharing with and register them with us first .
If you are a college student or a club or classroom – we only ask you to send a care package once a month .
E) Can I collect items for my package?
Yes, you can take up a collection at work, your college , place of worship or school but remember you are not collecting for Homefront Hugs ( unless you are and then we have to approve it ) – you are collecting for yourself and your hero , and you can say you are a registered volunteer at Homefront Hugs once you have applied and received your hero .
So many ideas here for Care Packages :
F) Where do I get my boxes?
The boxes are FREE and sent to you if you use Flat Rate Priority Mail envelopes or boxes or pick them up at the post office or go to USPS.com . You can use any box but the best are flat rate priority or envelopes flat rate priority as they get to our troops fastest and fastest.
G) I can’t leave work or home easily– what do I do to mail boxes?
You can print postage, forms , everything from your computer and the postman or woman will come pick your packages up wherever you are IF they are flat rate priority.
H) What about tape for my boxes?
Clear packing tape or the priority mail tape should be used . HINT: You can ask ( very nicely) if your postal lady will let you have one of her priority tape rolls and sneak it into your bag … ( then you don’t even have to buy clear packing tape )
I) Which box is easiest of the flat rate boxes?
If you use the MEDIUM size flat rate boxes you don’t even NEED tape and they cost about $13 to ship up to 70 lbs ( magazines are heavy). And here are some great tips on the short declaration forms you have to fill out because they should not stress you out 🙂
J) Any other ideas so I don’t have to buy much?
You can ask your neighbors, friends, roommates in college , if they have any presents,canned fruit, candy,magazines they just read , or if they want to add a letter or card for your packages. Make it a community project . Magazines should not be older than 2 months !
K) Can I involve my business,college or workplace?
Of course , you can ask your work colleagues the above and collect anything you wish at work even paper and pens for troops to write home but the address and email ( if you have one ) may never be shared .
If you adopt as a group – 1-2 people need to send in an application and keep the email and address strictly confidential to themselves ! We register you and this is very serious . We adhere to OPSEC 24-7.
L) What about local stores getting involved?
You can decorate a box at your local Hallmark/gift card/ MDEN or any store or grocery store that carries items you need to have people donate as you are a Homefront Hugs volunteer registered with us . It helps the store earn money and it helps our heroes ! Always ask first and make sure we know and you are registered here .
M) Can children help?
YES / troops love this ! You can contact your children’s or grandchildren’s schools or teachers you know and collect drawings and letters. Maybe you even have younger siblings who can help !
N) For a small package or Manila envelope , what do you recommend ?
You can send them a pack of gum , a used or new DVD or book you love and a letter and they will be grateful anyone cared at all .
If you are a group – even if it is a photo of all of you taken on a smartphone and then printed out on copy paper with messages from all of you – our troops LOVE this !
Our 1st family and hero ever adopted at Homefront Hugs
O) How can I avoid the high cost of magazines?
You can send magazines to your home, office or college dorm room ( fraternity or sorority ) and pack them as they come in – inside your care packages.
Also – go to Magazines.com – tons of magazines there for under $10/year and coupons found on EBATES so go to Ebates and then click on Magazines.com.
Use this link for EBATES and get a bonus :
– Then once in EBATES and signed up free / click on Magazines.com ( you’ll even get cash back ) / the magazines will practically be FREE ! It’s what we do here at our national headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan .
P) Do the troops enjoy baked goods?
Absolutely ! You can bake cookies or buy the pre-made dough and bake – and pack a few for you and a few for your soldier in a plastic baggie and then a small flat rate box with your letter. A hint if in Ann Arbor : our troops love the brownies and Zingbars from Zingermans !
Q) Can I get discounts anywhere?
You can ask us for an official Homefront Hugs volunteer card with your name on it to show to stores and anyone – for discounts – just ask . Many stores will be more than happy to help!
Send a self stamped envelope with your address for your volunteer cards ( you can get up to 2 per person even if you are a huge group) to:
Homefront Hugs USA
1881 West Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
R) How do I send a quick photo of myself or family even our pets as a ” Homefront Hug ” ?
You can photocopy a photo of your dogs/cats or you and write a note on that paper to your deployed hero . It will help them know who you are …like a real Homefront Hug. They love to ” picture” who is spoiling them .
S) How about any other ideas?
You can ask your grocery stores or pharmacy for any slightly damaged magazines or papers , books , etc …and show them our website and your volunteer card . Get in touch with schools and teachers – they are happy to help you send cards and letters that your hero can share with others during holidays . Write a letter to the editor and share about Homefront Hugs .
REMEMBER : as a volunteer you represent Homefront Hugs at all times – our core values of compassion, inclusion, diversity, integrity.
T) Can my friend help me if she or he decides to later?
You can have a friend sign up and you can share your hero together officially once we have her or his info registered . Confidentiality /OPSEC is key so they need to do this first.
U) What about references?
I write references for anyone who helps in any way at Homefront Hugs for 3 months or longer including teens who often need volunteer hours for college and jobs ! Volunteer jobs are just that – real jobs without pay and can and should be listed on all resumes.
V) What if I have more questions?
You can contact me anytime with questions and I will help president@HomefrontHugs.org
I am the most accessible CEO you will ever knoe especially if it means another hero will not be forgotten . Just try to be a respectful of weekends and holidays please and after 5 pm at night, as I have a family too . Thanks so much .
W) How long are adoptions and what happens when my hero comes home?
Most adoptions are 3-9 months until your hero comes home …and then you can have another hero without reapplying if you want or take a break for a while which many of our decade long volunteers do . Remember some heroes write – some do not . We are in the middle of war and many tense conflicts but your support needs to be unconditional . We do have gentle hints and fun ways to get your soldier or airman or woman to respond – but sometimes they wait until the end to say thanks .
Always remember to take care of yourself first and treat yourself gently .
X) Do I have to resubmit information if I want to do something else with Homefront Hugs?
No, as long as your address and pho.ne have not changed you are fine . We keep your information in a very secure location at headquarters never shared or sold to others.
Y) Do I have to officially resign if I need to stop after my adoption ends?
Once a volunteer, always a volunteer with us . Some volunteers take a few years off like Penny from Arizona , and others like Dr.Dan Leviten and his beautiful wife Joy never stop . It’s all up to you …We value our volunteers . You are what keeps our troops and vets smiling , helping make war and their daily challenges a bit more bearable . You make Homefront Hugs shine .
Y) Okay , I am ready to do this in thanks . What’s next ?
To adopt an individual service member , here is what we need :
or send everything below ⬇️ to us in an email :
- a strong understanding and agreement to keep everything confidential and to follow OPSEC at all times
- promise to report to Alessandra Kellermann and keep her updated at least every few months sharing information when requested as we are a team here at Homefront Hugs USA in every adoption .
- understanding that you represent Homefront Hugs in your volunteer position and our values of empathy,diversity and inclusion and leaving politics at the door .
- your address and phone number (never shared and only kept with us at headquarters – no PO boxes.
- agreement to keep your support positive and consistent with 2 care packages a month and cards or letters each time with them . Only teachers, clubs or citizens who wish to share a hero send 1 care package per month .
- agreement to update and share information periodically with your supervisor, Alessandra , including change of address for self or adopted hero and work as a team to ensure quality care and support .
- understanding that our troops come from all walks of life , ages and all 5 branches of the military and we give you your gift of a hero based on priority of need .
- statement that you are a US citizen (and if you are not , we need a photo id with your address)
- agreement to support and send care whether or not you hear back because you understand as long as your care packages are not being returned – they are being received and because your support is without conditions.
- a few sentences WHY you wish to adopt
- names of anyone in your household or workplace who is an adult who may have access to the address or info on your hero – if not family / they need to apply with you . (OPSEC)
🇺🇸Send all of the above to :
Z) Why is the adoption program so important ?
For many reasons – most of all because I once was married to the most amazing kind and handsome man in the world who could keep me smiling, gave the greatest hugs, and understood me like no one else – Steve F. Schmidt of Charlevoix was a brilliant US Air Force pilot and my college sweetheart and husband ( Go Blue !) and served in Desert Storm . If Steve had ever been wounded or without support , it would have been so painful to even think he was alone and forgotten . Steve made it through the war. I am grateful for this every day even though our marriage did not survive because of a family tragedy overseas.
Every single hero like Steve who serves , with courage, talent and humility deserves support and never to be forgotten . You can make such a huge difference in such small ways and help prevent depression, isolation and even lessen stress and effects of any PTSD.
Did you know ?
We are losing more troops and vets to suicide every day now than ever before . Wrapping our heroes in support when they need us is critical. Many do not sign up themselves but chaplains, fellow warriors, families and commanders watch out for troops and wounded warriors who need us at Homefront Hugs .
We also started Homefront Hugs in honor of our World War II veterans and my late Jewish grandfather who taught me about the debt we owe all our veterans.
I hope this simplifies the adoption process a bit because I want to show everyone how easy it can be .
Your hero will know he or she was remembered and someone out there did care enough, helping him or her focus on the missions as well . Your packages and handwritten words ( please ) help reduce stress . We know now more than ever the emotional health of our troops is critical , and the spike in suicides with active duty and retired veterans .
Some good news ! You usually don’t have to wait 4 weeks to get your assignment. I will do my best so you wait no longer than 1-2 weeks … so no serviceman or woman is forgotten …so if you are ready, apply and start getting your care package ready for a hero hoping to be adopted …order your supplies at USPS.
” Wait …what about adopting a military family here on US soil ?”
Look at application you can send via email just by answering the questions on the form and putting them in an email to us .We just need you to send one pick me up care package a month with a handwritten card or letter for the brave family until their hero comes home …just email us for ideas of what to ship or look on application – it’s fun and another lasting friendship !
Adopting a military family requires reading this page and using what applies to you to help you adopt easily and sending us your address and phone number and agreement to confidentiality. Please add a few reasons why you wish to do this as well .
And don’t forget – you can adopt one hero overseas later who has no mail at all and needs a morale life to help prevent depression, offer stress relief and even sadly prevent the tragic suicide rate …
Email Adoptions@HomefrontHugs.org with your info never shared or sold and we’ll get started ! Remember we are always here to help and you are not in this on your own during the adoption .
Welcome to our Homefront Hugs Volunteer Family !
In peace – Shalom.
Alessandra and Ed Kellermann
Alessandra and Ed Kellermann
Founders and Co-Presidents
Homefront Hugs USA
Alessandra -University of Michigan Alumnus – GO BLUE !💙💛
Recipients of Four Chaplains Award
Recipients of National 1st Prize Volunteerism Award 2007