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5 Organizations that Help Send Holiday Gifts to Troops

Susan Lawson of Soldiers' Angels give tips on what goods to ship to deployed service members and Patch offers organizations that help in the process.

Store Christmas decorations so early in the season may be annoying, but they’re a good reminder that holiday goods for deployed troops take time to travel across the world.

The trip is usually about three weeks, according to Susan Lawson of Soldiers Angels—an organization that sends care packages to those serving overseas.

Most people send snacks and hygiene products, but there’s much more that can be make a service member’s day. That includes one item that would normally spoil a kid’s holiday—socks.

“It’s really really cold in Afghanistan right now and these guys need to be changing their socks every day,” she said. “They can’t dry when it’s 20 degrees out—it’s not very exciting, but socks.”

Prohibited items in the Middle East include pork, alcohol and pornographic items. For who believe in creating gifts, hand made quilts are well-received, Lawson added.

There are various organizations that accept gifts and monetary donations. Here are a few recommended by Patch readers:

If the cost and time is an issue, an easy solution Lawson recommends is to is to write a card or letter to a service member.

“It doesn’t have to be something big that’s sent, just that something was sent,” she said. “They’re honored to know that there are American back home who care about them and who remember they’re there fighting for us.” 

Susan Lawson November 12, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Thank you Daniel. I have more information about how our local residents and businesses can contribute to support our troops through Soldiers' Angels. Coming soon!
North County DanceArts, Inc. November 12, 2012 at 08:46 PM
DanceHearts, a 501 (c) 3 based in Carmel Valley and The Bells of Freedom program also provides year around assistance to local Marines and Sailors and their families while at home and deployed The also hold an annual event that is ongoing now called "The Big Thank You" . This event provides a conduit for local families, organizations, and corporations to 'adopt' Marine and Navy families during the Holidays stationed at Camp Pendleton and Air Base Miramar. To see last year's event view our YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/KsC8w5AxH18 and be sure to visit our web site at www.bellsoffreedom.org. Delivery at Camp Pendleton takes place on Sunday, December 9th. Call (858) 792-1003 or write bellsoffreedomus@aol.com for more information on how to participate in "The Big Thank You" 2012.
David B Secor November 12, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Yes, Thanks, Daniel! Whether it's news or information regarding active military and their families or veterans' issues - Patch is simply the BEST!
Terry Klinker November 12, 2012 at 09:39 PM
This is terrific! Also, Sport Clips Haircuts is still collecting money for this year's Help A Hero program, which allows our deployed troops to call home to their loved one's during the holidays for free. Today is the last official day for the collection of donations. Thanks to everyone who has already given to this great program. Santee is in the running for the top fundraiser in the country for the 2012 Help A Hero campaign.
Joanne Pennington November 12, 2012 at 10:37 PM
We need a share button so we can share these stories on Facebook and Twitter. Most of these organizations have links also to their respective pages that could be published as well. I relieze that you can click on the highlighted organization but it would be nice to be able to share. Thank you Daniel for your excellent reporting.
Deanne Goodman (Editor) November 12, 2012 at 11:09 PM
click the facebook recommend button just above the comments to share this story on your facebook, or the tweet button to share it on twitter.
Sheila Wilmouth November 12, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Soldiers Far From Home, which is a 501c3 nonprofit in the Calif Central Valley area, (Modesto/Stanislaus County) has been shipping care packages to our deployed troops since Dec 2003. SFFH has shipped over 6 1/2 tons to our troops during that time. We are getting ready to ship again on Dec 4th and we need asap, 4-5 names of deployed members of our military to ship to. The first names I receive will be the ones to receive the care packages. We ship about 1500 lbs of goodies for Christmas. Daniel did a story about us last year and we received 5 names to ship to due to Patch. Thanks again. Sheila Wilmouth - President of SFFH.
Daniel Woolfolk November 13, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Thanks, David!
Daniel Woolfolk November 13, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Thanks, everyone for all the suggestions. Here are some more suggested from our Facebook users. http://www.thecarepackageproject.com/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tucson-Area-Marine-Moms/163955686986494
Susan Lawson November 13, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Okay so here is the news I promised. MainStreet Oceanside has partnered once again this year with Soldiers' Angels, 501 (c)(3) to collect holiday care packages for our troops. We need snack bars, candy, gum, nuts, & socks. In addition, Soldiers' Angels will be collecting donations for a special holiday dinner for the 3rd MAW, single barracks...Marines who could not go home for the holidays. Stop by the Sunset Market on Thursday 11/29, 12/6 or 12/13 from 5:00 - 9:00 to contribute. You can also email me for details. Susan Lawson ctlca26@gmail.com
Rogue November 21, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Thank you for posting all these great Organizations. Thanksforourfreedom is an amazing organization. They also have a facebook page under the same name. That one is run by spouses of active duty service members. So it's got a great inside approach to helping military familes.
DeltaWhiskey99 November 25, 2012 at 08:19 PM
In addition to just Adopting troops and Military Families, Thanks For Our Freedom has a wide range of programs to support the changing needs of our Military community. Although right now the Christmas program is in full swing and taking the primary focus they also have amazing programs like the Honored Baby Platoon, which support military wives who are having babies while their husband's are deployed. Little Spaces for Little Heroes is another awesome program and in addition to just your standard Adopt A Hero program for deployment support they customize the care packages based on each individual troops needs/wants. Every program they have is tailored to fit the needs of each individual hero or family. They really take the time to get to know you and see how best they can help. It's a wonderful organization!!!
DeltaWhiskey99 November 25, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I know that Thanks For Our Freedom always has tons of troops available as they have a very wide range throughout the Military since the Founder is a military wife as are most of their volunteers. They could probably supply you with names of some troops who need it the most. Thank you!
Rosie November 30, 2012 at 07:09 AM
I would like to know which of these organizations are actual nonprofits. I can't find anything about Thanks For Our Freedom, although it sounds great.

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