With each passing year, the holiday season seems to come up even more quickly than the year before. Before it’s even December 1st, holiday gifts are already planned and shopping has begun. But while you’re out shopping for family and friends, take a moment to remember the people farther from home who deserve our thanks this holiday season: our soldiers. An easy, but meaningful, way to support the troops this holiday season is to send a care package!
Grantham’s motto: Serving Those Who Serve® captures our desire to give back to those who give so much. We have the privilege of educating not only many military students enrolled in one of our online degree programs, but military spouses who work diligently to earn their degrees. What better opportunity to share our appreciation during this season than with the gift of giving?
The deadline for holiday items to be sent to organizations for distribution is approaching. There are many organizations that will accept and deliver cards and care packages to veterans, active military and wounded warriors.
Here are a few ways you can support the troops with care packages during the holidays:
Host a Care Package Donation Drive
Operation Shoebox is an organization that reaches out to heroes at home and overseas. During the holiday season, you can play your part to support the troops by hosting a donation drive. All donated items can be sent to Operation Shoebox, which will then be packaged and dispersed to deserving military members.
“Collect items for our standard care package by hosting a care package drive at your workplace, school, organization or place of worship! You don’t need to know a member of the military to collect items for us to ship,” stated the Operation Shoebox website.1 “The troops love receiving instant coffee, personal hygiene items, prepaid phone cards, stationery, jerky, and more.”
You can learn more about how you can host a donation drive and send donated items to the organization here.
Participate in a Care Package Donation Drive
Every year, the American Red Cross facilitates a card drive for military families and veteran hospitals, called Holidays for Heroes. You can join the Red Cross in their efforts to support the troops this holiday season.
“The Red Cross Holidays for Heroes program enables Americans to ‘Give Something That Means Something’ this holiday season and other holidays year-round,” states the Red Cross.2 “We are inviting the public to join their local Red Cross offices to thank and recognize members of the military, veterans and their families through a variety of activities. Please check with your local Red Cross office for details.”
Sending Care Packages Directly
Do you know someone serving overseas in the military? Many of our students are family of military members, so we want to provide information that can help make sure all those loved ones overseas receive a gift from home during the holiday season.
“Since Priority Mail supplies are the packaging of choice for families preparing care packages for service members overseas, the Postal Service created a ‘military care-kit’ based on the items most frequently requested by military families. The kit is free, and each box is emblazoned with ‘America Supports You,’ which is sure to comfort those who are away from home,” stated the USPS website.3
The kit contains:
• Two Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Boxes
• Two Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Boxes
• Priority Mail tape
• Priority Mail address labels
• Appropriate customs forms
To order the kit, call 800-610-8734. Guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. troops can be found at www.usps.com/supportingourtroops.
Support the Troops this Holiday Season
As an institution that emphasizes the importance of service, we find the holiday season to be a great time to support the troops and make a soldier’s day. Taking the extra step to assist in making and sending a care package is worth all the effort when it brings a smile to the faces of those who serve.