Care Packages for Troops
March 9, 2014
First, thank you to all our troops and veterans for your service keeping us free and safe.
And THANK YOU to our incredible National Guard for being there to help us during these huge winter
You are never forgotten. We know many of you are on your 4th, 5th and even 10th deployments…and stress relief items and specific needs you have in care packages truly help lift morale and prevent depression. It takes a hero to ask for support too and we have your back.Right now we need quick help to
mail care to troops not adopted yet with NO support . PLEASE scroll down
to help in any way you can under BREAKING NEWS
Dear Troops and Veterans,
Our country has NOT forgotten you. So many supporters, your fellow citizens, come right here to this page to see ways they can help and to make certain you know you are thought of every day with pride and thanks until you are safely home. For those of you who are safely home, you are in our hearts, our votes, and our minds every day as well for without you, we would not be free.
Our troops shine with compassion and courage quietly, humbly, and we salute them every day at Homefront Hugs USA
Homefront Hugs has a strong need for volunteers to adopt a hero or his
or her family from the comfort of your home, your classroom, your business
or place of worship. Anyone can adopt from home .
We have over 100 heroes who need adoption and it is so easy to forget our men and
women in uniform sadly .
What price do you put on your freedoms and your safety even during
storms when our military is always there?
URGENT NEED :
Currently we have close to 284 troops waiting to be adopted and we hope you will try the experience or
at least share the need please…share the hugs !
GOOD NEWS: We make adoptions easy & inexpensive so anyone can do
this ! We’ve been running our adoption program for 13 years plus so we have
a rewarding and award winning program for both our volunteers and
their hero recipients. We know what it means to a soldier healing or a soldier deployed away
from loved ones and home. You also have us by your side the whole time
you adopt; we check on you and your hero to make sure all is well.
What matters is the emotional support so no hero serving feels forgotten.
You have contact with our president, Alessandra Kellermann, if there ever
is an issue or problem or for any questions at all.****
Deployed Soldier in awe as he meets his little girl for the first time...(Why support matters so much at Homefront Hugs USA)
POSTAGE FUNDS ARE NEEDED for MARCH
CARE PACKAGE SHIPMENTS :
Please consider making a quick donation here for any of our needs and missions.
100% of your donation goes directly to troop needs and postage to ship troop care
packages. Currently, we need funds urgently to ship March care packages.
We are $1870 short and this is because we have over 280 troops
at least to send care packages to now in March ! We are already 1 week late !
HINT: The more troops we get adopted, the less care packages we must ship .
Any help is gratefully accepted for our brave and patient troops .
It costs exactly $14.95 to ship 1 large USPS care package to heroes in need.
How about sponsoring just 1 care package?
Until we get all troops waiting for support, adopted, we send the care packages
filled with needs and morale boosting items . We thank you for any support you
can spare. Click right here safely and securely on this logo:
( you do not need a Paypal account to help )
THANK YOU for helping make sure our troops receive the care
packages they need ..it does make a difference.
You can also send help to Homefront Hugs right here
through regular mail and we welcome any letters or cards
for our care packages .
Our heroes ask for so little and sacrifice so much for all of us
We have 169 troops waiting to be individually adopted as they just deployed,
or are stressed with 1-2 months left in their deployment which can be the
most critical. We receive our confidential lists from commanders, fellow
soldiers,chaplains and families.
HINT: If you are a business,school,classroom,club, or place of worship
and just want to adopt a group,only ONE person needs to send the info
below and be the one in charge…but it is a super way to help.
What does Adopting a Hero mean?
Adopting a serviceman or woman is much more than a penpal experience and a fun
experience that belongs on everyone’s bucket list of life. Troops depend
on this support to avoid depression and PTSD and focus on their
missions best .
Adopting a troop from any branch is an experience
to remind us all what sacrifice and giving back to heroes who keep us
free and safe means, politics aside. In World War II, our entire country
helped on the homefront to support our men and women in uniform
fighting against Hitler’s regime of evil and tyranny. Not one citizen
refused to help and sacrifice in some way to show their allegiance with
our troops. And thus our name…Homefront Hugs.
All we ask is that you send 2 care packages a month with a letter or note.
Care packages can be as small as a magazine and some candy with a note.
This costs less than $3 to mail but of course you can send more.
(HINT: Our list and photos of items to put in care packages are just ideas not required items. You can allow others to give you treats to put in your care packages but always know who and what they are and never share the address due to confidentiality… or OPSEC which is the military term for operational security)
It’s free to adopt a hero and even the flat rate boxes to ship your care in are free at the Post Office . You can order them to be delivered to you and already PREPAID ! You can call USPS and ask how…
- Anything you send,even a card and a magazine twice a month will remind your hero he or she is not forgotten.**
- You can do this as a team..with a best friend…your neighbor, your business, or a class full of students. Our servicemen and women need us. They need to know this country has not forgotten and that is why Homefront Hugs is here.***
- Most of the troops we receive have been submitted to us from chaplains and commanders –> troops who could really use some cheer. We can’t let them down. Please adopt a hero today or consider this for a later time . Morale in war is critical. *******
HOW CAN I ADOPT A HERO - and get assigned quickly?
Here is what we need to assign you,your own soldier to support :
1. Your full name*
2. phone number and address (no POBoxes) (we never share your info)
3. agreement to keep everything confidential***
4. agreement to send 2 small care packages a month with a card or letter…
to lift morale,bring a smile…and we have many ideas below!
5. 1-5 sentences as to why you wish to adopt and help lift morale
6. Agreement to at least 6 month adoption and to let us know if an emergency
comes up and you must stop so no hero is left without support.***
7. Due to national security/OPSEC, usually only American citizens can adopt a
military family or a soldier. We thank everyone who has expressed an interest
in helping from Canada and other countries, and you can but there are some
extra steps. Fill out the form and we will let you know.
8. Confirm that you are over 18 in a sentence, or have a parent apply with you.
9. If you are not an American citizen , we will need a copy of your photo id with
your address and name as it is on the application. Then we acquire special
permission from the soldier but it is possible now. Email all above info to
Adoptions@HomefrontHugs.org and have a hero fairly quickly !
As you are waiting we suggest you keep reading and start preparing for your new hero to support.
- OR you can skip the above steps, and fill out the form below, then take a photo of the application with your phone or scan it into an email, and send it to Adoptions@HomefrontHugs.org or send it to the address on the bottom of the form via snail mail.
Please make sure however you apply , you read the OPSEC flyer above so we are all on the same page about confidentiality…which is very important to us and your adopted hero. Your information is kept confidentially too and never shared with anyone.
If you prefer not to adopt or just can’t adopt, we could really use your help sharing this need with others as supporting our troops in the war zone can help prevent isolation, depression, even PTSD. Share this page on any website, blog or in the media as we can all support our troops somehow.
We welcome everyone here at Homefront Hugs and leave the politics at the door because our amazing veterans and troops come from all walks of life like us , protecting all our freedoms daily and at all costs .
NATIONAL CARD SHORTAGE… we are hoping everyone across the USA will join us in writing heartfelt cards and notes to our heroes wishing our heroes all the best health,happiness and safety – sending some real Homefront Hugs ! We need to already start collecting for Easter, Passover, and yes, even St.Patrick’s Day !
Meet Sophie...our newest volunteer making a card for her hero
We just need simple letters, notes, drawings from children and adults for our wounded and our deployed veterans. We don’t care if you handwrite your note on the back of a paper bag.
We cannot explain enough what it means to a soldier or a wounded hero to know you took the time to sit down, grab a pen and write from your heart even if it just a few sentences.
- PLEASE do not buy an expensive store bought card and just sign it, buy one if it is easier, but add a few notes…
- And PLEASE do not send us mass mailings of postcards with no more than a signature and a few words…..
- Instead, make it feel like a real HUG from home .
- We leave politics at the door and have no left and right here when supporting our men and women in uniform.
- We respect and honor our troops from all religions or none.
- We know our heroes come from all types of loving families and relationships too and respect their freedoms to love whom they wish.
- Our troops come from all races.cultures and we remain considerate and sensitive to their needs and religious days they may celebrate as well.
- These are all the freedoms our troops fight for daily and veterans have been willing to lay their lives down for these rights .
- Our amazing Homefront Hugs volunteers reflect the same unity and compassion, leaving all divisiveness at our door.
Send your personal letters or
Homefront Hugs USA
1850 Brookfield Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
****Morale is critical and we are stil at war. Your letters and support help prevent depression, isolation and even triggers to PTSD and more serious mental health issues.
You DO make a difference.****
YES , you can put all your cards in one envelope…but please whether it is one envelope or a bunch of cards…label clearly on each envelope or card WHO it is for please…
” For a Wounded Soldier “
” For a Hero Nurse”
” For a Deployed Hero “
” For a Hero Doctor “
” For a Hero Medic”
” For a Sick Veteran”
This saves us enormous time so we don’t have to OPEN your card and envelope . You can include your email, address, even a postcard stamped with your return address for them to write you back…And by labeling these, we know where these go, either to
Operation Healing Angel (for our wounded and hero staff )
or Homefront Hero Hugs (for our deployed)
” But what do I write? It’s so much easier to just sign
and say thanks …”
- Tell your hero about YOU, your day, family,your pets, your town - tell him or her why you are grateful…did you ever meet a vet?
- Did someone in your family serve?
- Do you like your freedoms and living in peace?
- Are you thankful there have been no repeats of 9/11?***
- Talk about your job, the weather, share some jokes, a prayer,some inspiration, a quote, a newspaper clipping, even a photo…your pets and kids. Talk about something that happened in your town, share a magaizne article or newspaper clipping.
- Try to keep your letters or notes positive. *
- Share some humor or daily activities to take their mind off war for a while..
SPECIAL THANKS !! Special Thanks to Toby Keith and Jewel for helping us get the word out about adoptions ! Every star who has access to millions following can help us with a shout out but few do…and it will be helping make sure NO hero is forgotten. Toby has been helping us for years quietly and never wanted any recognition or thanks …*****
Homefront Hugs to you Toby
and Jewel ! xo
Cheapest to use Priority FLAT RATE USPS
2nd HUGE NEED = FAMILY ADOPTIONS:
- We have military families who need adoption during a deployment or with a wounded hero at home for 6 month min, and only 1 lift me up care package a month is needed.
- This monthly package is for morale and to feel like a hug and there are plenty of ideas on the application and from us,just ask.
- You are not paying their bills or helping them out monetarily as we know times are tough for everyone. We have resources of other organizations we can share for that right here on our web site.
- You are instead lifting morale, helping them know they are not forgotten, and actually helping our troops who will rest easier knowing that someone cares about their loved ones so they can focus on their missions.. You will become their hero and long-distance friend.
Sometimes adopting the family, is the best gift you can give our troops so they can focus on their mission.
- stickers for children (Smilemakers- use coupon HUGSUSA for free shipping and 20% off )
- small gift cards under $5-10 (iTunes for teens, Starbucks for Mom or Dad or Grandma & Grandpa caring for the family )
- monthly magazine subscriptions (Family Fun, Oprah, Self, National Geographic, Ranger Rick,etc.)
- body lotion
- flameless candles or real scented ones
- cards, humor, handmade letters (or even drawings from your children if you do this as a family to family project in 2014)
- music, movies on DVD
- decorations for different holidays they celebrate (we try to find out what those are for you and their religion if they wish to share )
- phone calls or emails to lift spirits
- homebaked goods
A Michigan Military Family Grins for the Camera
BEST TIPS ON CARE PACKAGES WHEN ADOPTING A HERO WITH US
As you know, we need VOLUNTEERS to adopt troops- please consider this as you see all the guidance here of how to pack items- and what type of items we can send if you adopt a hero or have a loved one serving !
These are just IDEAS in case we don’t get any from the soldier him or herself. We do NOT expect you to spend your life savings buying things for the care packages.
A care package can be a magazine , a letter or card and some gum…..it is meant to be a support to lift morale…a real Homefront Hug from home.
- This is ONE of the large FLAT RATE box you can send for $14.95 and pack up to 70 pounds of goodies . There is also a long LARGE flat rate that is the same price .
Packing Care Packages and Obtaining Supplies
The number to USPS is : 1-800-ASK-USPS or 1-800-275-8777 The website is : www.usps.com You can always order the APO Flat Rate care kit and it includes everything to begin a care package and the cheapest way to send items to APO or FPO addresses….though your local post office has them all sizes or use your own box if it will be light under 10 pounds.
IF YOU ARE WAITING to hear back from us, start writing your card or letter and packing your box or manila envelope with a magazine and some gum…Remember anyone can add to your care package but once assigned your hero, you cannot share the address of your military family or soldier due to OPSEC .
1. You can order (but only by phone at 1-800-610-8734, option #1)
2. You can also order ”Flat Rate” boxes (mimimum 25) online.
COST of supplies: FREE
3. Always treat your USPS mail workers well because they have great tips and will sometimes even give you the Priority mail tape free if you sweet talk them or bring them some brownies
- A typical package for Homefront Hugs heroes
Most Requested Practical Items for Deployed Troops:
- baby wipes,baby wipes,baby wipes
- stickers to send home to kids because it can be put in an envelope and shipped for free (Order from Smilemakers -they support our troops and work with us and use coupon code HUGSUSA for free shipping and a 20% discount!)
- ziplock bags, vinyl and plastic
- dryer sheets for keeping bed bugs out
- lip balm/chapstick
- sunscreen (at least with SPF of 25 even in winter)
- Avon Skin So Soft (a super bug repellent) for summer
- eye drops
- cough droops
- nasal spray
- medicated creams especially for sunburns
- Neosporin and waterproof bandages
- Bengay for sore muscles
- Extra stamps and medium sized envelopes so they can send more because only 1 ounce is free then they have to add stamps..get forever holiday stamps or history or scenes of USA
- Blank Journals to keep private diary
- pens and thin and thick colored markers
- combs and brushes
- toothpaste and toothbrushes
- plastic travel cases for toothbrush and soap
- deodorant (no aerosol spray)
- razors especially Gillette Pro Glide for Men
- after shave lotion
- Foot powder
- body lotion
- bar soap
- VISINE eye drops
- cotton balls
- Bug Spray with Deet (non-aerosol) for summer
- nail files
- brown or beige socks
- baseball hats and bandanas
- B12,Vitamin C, and D3 Vitamins
- Lever 2000 body wipes
- Small and Large Plastic Ziplock bags
- (to keep the sand out which gets into everything)
- Fly Swatter/Fly strips
- Small Battery Powered Fans
- soft travel neck pillows
(check REI,Amazon and any travel store like Brookstone)
- hand and foot warmers especialluy through winter found cheapest at Amazon
| FREEDOM is so easily taken for granted…
join us and say thanks today !
- Co-Founder and President Ed helping pack care packages since age 3, a USAF dependent
Packing Homefront Hugs Care Packages in General
Make a Fun New Year's Package for your Hero
- Most Requested Stress-Relief Items for Deployed Troops:
- Tabasco sauce or a gourmet hot sauce (help those MRE’s taste better!)
- soft pillow cases and even travel blankets
(hint: GET A WHITE PILLOW CASE AND WRITE SOME MESSAGES IN
PERMANENT INK ON THE CASE …THEY’LL LOVE IT !)
- filled stockings or pillows with treats
- Candy and chocolate that can be sent through March (winter) especially your leftover Halloween Candy !
- blank fun and romantic cards for family
- stickers, pens, paper, envelopes for writing kids and add a book of stamps if you can, because if it is over a 1 ounce, they have to pay for mailing and add a stamp !
- Footballs/ soccer balls
- pump to inflate balls
- colored markers to decorate letters and PERMANENT MARKERS
- hard candy/hard mints
- Magazines (get yourself a subscription and then pack them in care packages as they come every month..)
- holiday decorations…of all kinds …(always ask what religion they are first)
- Homemade cards and photos of you,your kids,your life
- Sweet-tarts,movie candy in large sizes
- catalogs to order treats for kids if they have children or spouses (Victoria’s Secret is a favorite for all)
- frisbees (glow-in-the-dark a favorite)
- Protein Bars esp PRO Bars and Builders (favorites)
- playing cards
- granola bars
- mixed nuts and dried fruit
- Tootsie Pops
- Little Debbie Snack Cakes
- (The troops tell us Gatorade is sometimes too plentiful so send anything else or the PURPLE kind !)
- Crystal Light and Koolaid Powdered drink mix
- Pretzels in a cannister
- Slim Jims Individually Wrapped in a cannister
- BEEF JERKY
- Tuna in a Vacuum Sealed Pouch
- Popcorn or Microwave Products
- Chex Mix
- Pop Tarts
- Dried Fruits
- Condiments in Pouches like ketchup,mayo,relish or mustard,sugar,cream for coffee
- Teas of all kinds and lemon juice
- local newspapers,tabloids,paperback books,comics
- (anything that brings some humor!)
- flashlights (smaller the better)
- mini battery fans (for summer)
- Ipods and favorite cds
- batteries for all of the above
- jump ropes
- stress balls
- candles especially scented
- Handheld computer games (include batteries)
- books or Kindles with books loaded
- Music CDs
- Travel Size Games including chess
- No chocolate or items with chocolate pieces which could melt (except between November through February)
- No pornographic materials
- No pork products of any kind
- No liquor
- No cigarettes
- No aerosol spray items
- Nothing that leaks
- No fresh fruit
- No living plants or animals
- No negativity, downers – your mission is to keep them smiling !
Final Packing Tips :
Mark all packages and envelopes with “Homefront Hugs” if you are a volunteer participating in one of our programs – it will help the units expedite delivery and contact us if there is any problem with delivery . It will also let other soldiers know where they can go for support !
1. Items that could leak or melt in zip leak proof bags
2. If not using the free FLAT RATE care packages, use a small-medium sturdy corrugated box as free of markings as possible. Must be within size restrictions. It is better to send smaller boxes than one large box.
3. Use lots of newspapers, fill space with foam peanuts, bubble wrap, etc. to pack everything firmly in box and bubble paper and peanuts make it lighter when not using a flat rate box.
4. Use strong packing or shipping tape and use it generously to go around box both ways. We found ours cheapest through Amazon.
5. BIG Hint for Volunteers : If you want a reply, include a postcard with your address already on it….and place it in the inside of the box. Our troops do NOT need stamps , but be patient as they are in the middle of war and just a bit stressed. This will help them though to get the hint that you really want to hear back !
Remember even if you have an email address, time is limited for most online and it is used mainly for loved ones and family.
Exactly how to fill out Declaration Form at Homefront Hugs and now there are two versions, the smaller one is accepted too and the newest one !! :
- Order these and fill them out BEFORE you get to the post office
6. You will have to fill out a Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note as seen above, found at the US Post Office and it will need to include ( tip: fill this out before you get there so pick up extras when you go):
- Brief list of items in box with value (undervalue if possible to prevent stealing- keep under $50)
- In upper left corner, write your complete return address so they know it’s safe to open with “Homefront Hugs Volunteer”
- In bottom left corner, please write:
If the person has been redeployed, please give to chaplain What is the cost of postage? Postage is like mailing anything within the USA- you will be mailing it to a US address and thus just paying US postage and filling out the declaration form (found at the post office) as indicated in #6 above. The military then gets your package the rest of the way for free for you to our soldiers.
- You can mail a flat rate as cheaply as $4.95 and even cheaper if you just have an envelope with a magazine and that is called “media mail ” ( under $2)
- If the goodies just don’t fit in that size box- send two boxes…even shoeboxes or you canl save the most using FLAT RATE USPS boxes as we do, just $14.95 for up to 70 pounds for the LARGE flat rate box. There are 2 types now..a long one for items that need length like posters and decorations, and a boxy Large flat rate. Order them in advance. Make life easier.
Our soldiers are so grateful for the support with so many needing a smile and hug from home…however small or big the goody boxes are. And please know you may not hear back from your hero for a while or just before they return home…depending how dangerous their mission is or how isolated they are.
And please, never rely on the USPS tracking to let you know a package has arrived there…as long as it does not come back, you are fine. Keep sending your packages every few weeks so your hero is supported and wrapped in hugs.
KIDS/TEENS/ TEACHERS !! Adopting a hero or family…. is a super project for vacations for your kids at home and for any organizations or for a high school volunteer project and as usual…we do give volunteer credit here for schools and colleges. Just ask about it. Teachers,think about doing this with your classrooms too…our troops just love it ! We have lots of teachers who love doing this and even adopted a military family which helped their students truly understand the sacrifice. The thank you letters from the families will humble you. We have one teacher named Jodie at the Village School in Texas who just adopted her 2nd family because the kids had so much fun !
What about helping our wounded warriors?
Operation Healing Angel for our wounded troops and medical staff heroes is still going strong too…and whatever you choose…everyone should have a volunteer card of their own and we will send them to you if you do not have them already…for every child too….read more about Operation Healing Angel on its own page above.
Thanks so much for supporting our wounded veterans healing in hospitals and those at home.
Just email us at info@HomefrontHugs.org
Remember you can do this all from home and we will help you with whatever you feel like doing to thank our heroes or yours !
Now in our 13th year…we’ve got the hang of this at Homefront Hugs USA and during your adoption you have direct access to our President/Founder Alessandra through email with any questions or if guidance is needed ! Just remember, she has no staff…so give her a little time…she has a family too…we are all volunteers here. And a little hint: If you really want to give her a smile, just say these words..” GO BLUE ! “