Saturday, December 3, 2011

Share Your CVS Stockpile with a Soldier

Debbie, a Simply CVS Facebook Page fan, recently posted that her family is going to participate in Soldier Angels and send goodies to a soldier or two (you can check out Debbie's thoughts and her families experience, as well as shots of her stockpile she is sharing in her blog post:  The Gift of Giving During the Holidays).  Another fan, Sharon, commented about participating in this and sending boxes to her husband & his unit.

A couple of years ago my family had the opportunity to share stockings with soldiers and thoroughly enjoyed it so I asked Sharon to share with us all how we, too, can participate in encouraging a soldier thru a simple gift.  Sharon has the knowledge and experience that will help us.  So check out
her post below and raid your CVS shopping stockpile to encourage a soldier this holiday season.

I was asked to write a guest blog about supporting our troops by sending items we are able to stockpile to the troops overseas.  First I would like to thank Cheryl for asking me to do this.  With a husband in service having served a couple of tours, this is very near and dear to me. 

If you do not know someone who is serving, the first place I would start is Soldiers Angels.   They are one of the oldest Soldier support sites and have built a good name for themselves.  They not only support the deployed Soldiers, they also do a lot for our Wounded Warriors, families and the list goes on.  You can get a great list of acceptable items from their site.

I would highly encourage you to stay away from different sites on Facebook who offer to send items to Soldiers.  With the best of intentions, they have a limited knowledge of who, what, when and where these Soldiers are based.  Even when my husband's unit was deployed, I signed up our Single Soldiers with little or no family to send them items through SA.  They have security measures put in place to protect you and the Soldiers.  They have an application process in which they have to have all information (dates and addresses are most important) and they follow up with the Soldier to assure they are at the same address, and have not returned home early (yes, this does still happen). 

In addition to the items SA has put out, I would encourage you to look around your house, the things you use daily.  They clean their own rooms (my husband used more swiffer pads than I did his year gone), have the option to have laundry done for them (depending on which base they are on), have chow halls but need snack items.  Individual packets (hot cocoa and cider) and hand warmers, warm socks and hats are wonderful for cold months and those up in mountainous areas.  Things to keep them busy, crosswords, cards, magazines (even what you have laying around you are done with), and other items they can occupy their time with.  Should you get really good deals on video games, those that have systems and time play them often (they have video game challenges when time permits) and movies watching nights with popcorn if they have a microwave. 

If you are a crafter or card maker, they can use cards to send back here to family or little trinkets they can easily ship to spouses, parents and children.  The best thing I got was homemade cards that were sent to my husband's unit that they could use to send home to us.  Halloween, Christmas, Birthday, first day of school.  You name it and they used it.  Sometimes it is so much easier to just order flowers to be delivered, which is nice, but them cards made my day everytime I got one. 

Hope this information helps.  There is so much I could write, I could take up several pages and lots of your time ;)  Thank You for your support of our Soldiers, you can never know how much it is appreciated.

And of course the soldiers need these things year round, not just during the Holidays.  So if you have wondered where you could share your CVSing stockpile there are soldiers who would be greatly appreciative of many of  the items.  If you have any questions, leave them in a comment below and I will ask Sharon to answer them as she finds the time.

Personal experience note:  I remember as a 10 year old picking a name of a soldier out of the newspaper and writing to him (times were so much simpler then). We corresponded until he returned home from Vietnam.  I had sent him one card after he came home and never heard from him again.  I never knew if he made it home.  Several years later my great aunt began a live-in child care job during the week (she lived with us on the weekends).  When she mentioned the man's name I was stunned--it was my soldier!  She took the letters he had written to me and let him re-read what he had written so many years before as a young man under fire in a Vietnamese jungle.  As Mastercard says, "priceless," for him and myself.  I do believe, and have experienced, that it is more blessed to give than to receive.


Kedrowski Family Blog said...

That last paragraph gave me chills!!! Wow, good for you and how amazing that he resurfaced in your life. These men and women really do appreciate what we do for them, even the simplest things like sending letter!!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

I still have those letters--and I know I will never forget it. I remember as an 11 year old (we had written for at least a year) having a horrible feeling when I never heard from him after he got home and wondered if he had made it or not. So was so glad when I learned he had.

ShopforYou said...

My husband was deployed to Iraq and I was contacted by a lady that was his "Angel". She was so nice and kept in contact with us both throughout his entire deployment. We were having a baby and she even sent me baby items!! We appreciated her thoughtfulness and support so much. I still keep in contact with her 5 years later, so coming from the other side of someone who has received these gifts-- Thanks! It really does mean a lot to the "soldiers".

Dipty said...

Thanks for an inspiring post. From now on I will make sure to send useful items to our soilders. Thanks to our servicemen, we can carry on with our day to day activities without fear. Much love and appreciation.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Tina, how wonderful. There are really some generous people in this world. Including your husband and your family for your sacrifice for each of us--thank you.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Dipty, you are so right. We take our freedom for granted, but freedom is never free.