Aria-Dawn's Soldier Care Packages

Sending a care package to a soldier in Iraq or one of the other conflict areas is one of the kindest things you can do. As these men and women are so far from home and often under such unbearable situations, the few comforts we can provide from home will go a long way in keeping their spirits up. If you are sending a package to someone in your family just think back to what he/she loved the most and try to replicate those favorites. If you are sending a package to "any soldier" here is a list of things that do not require refrigeration and travel well.

For information Call Aria-Dawn & Daniel Ferrini at 805-363-2961

Each box is this size (so keep in mind small things to include in it): 5.5 x 12 x 12 inches Priority Flat Rate Large Box.

Postage to mail a box is $ 15.00-17.00 (you can donate money to cover this too!) Support our Military! We need items to send in the care packages. If you, your company or organization would like to donate items to support the troops, please use this list as a reference for the types of items to collect for the Care Package Project™. All items must be new and in the original sealed packaging (except recreation items as noted below). Homemade food items cannot be accepted.
NOTE: Food items shipped with toiletry items will taste like deodorant, foot powder, toothpaste, etc. To avoid this, please deliver all food items packaged separately from all toiletry items or separate them in plastic bags. Do not send glass. See list of items not to send at the end of this document.

· Write a personal card to the soldier, thanking him/her for their service, etc.
· Small/travel sized toiletries
· White crew socks
· Paperback books
· Magazines
· Art supplies
· Puzzles
· Word books, crossword puzzles
· Small games—cribbage, yahtzee, cards, etc.
· Pens, pencils
· Juggling balls
· Hacky-sack
· Food: dried jerky, protein bars, granola bars, nuts, hard candy (that doesn’t melt)
· Anything else you can think of that is appropriate!

· Soldiers mainly rely on water to drink, so send them some items that add a little taste such as instant coffee, powered Gatorade, Crystal Light, Kool Aid, tea bags, powdered hot chocolate, powdered milk or lemonade mix.

· Try sending some munchy snacks. These items do not require a lot of room and are a great way to cheer someone up. Add sealable bags of gum, candy, snack cakes, Twinkies, slim jims, Lunchables, beef jerky, cans of chips (so they don't get crushed), packets of tuna and salmon, bags of trail mix, peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, jawbreakers, M and M's, Twizzlers, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, nuts, raisins and pretzels, breakfast bars, power bars and Pop Tarts.

· Send some quick meals that are on the market that only require hot water to prepare. If your soldier does not have access to a microwave, these are some easy meal options he will appreciate: Ramen noodles, Bowl Appetite dinners, many noodle dishes by Lipton as well as new foil packets of marinara sauce. If they do have a microwave available, send some popcorn, mac and cheese dinners or other microwavable dinners or soups now on the market.

· Include personal toiletries such as a new toothbrush, shower gels, nice soaps, baby powder, chap stick, antacids, sun block, batteries, stain remover stick, eye drops, baby wipes, travel pillow, gel insoles, T-shirts, underwear and socks.

· Don't forget to add some fun stuff for pure entertainment such as CD’s, magazines, paperback books, crossword puzzles, small board games, letters, disposable cameras, journal, DVDs, photos from home or record your children's voices for a treat. Toss in some cozy slippers or a soft blanket from home.

Also, Please consider donating from the "most requested" items list here. Travel-size and single-serving size work best.

Batteries (AA, AAA, C, and D)
Boot socks: black, tan, or olive green
Letters of support (letters from you, from children, or from your business, office, school, or other organization in support of our troops)
Liquid body wash (no pump dispensers please)
Pre-sweetened flavored beverage mixes (smaller sizes please)
Sandwich sized zipper lock baggies
Single-serving size snacks and non-perishable food items, particularly tuna kits, beef jerky, canned fruit (small containers; pop-top lid), dried fruit, nuts and other healthy snacks
Undershirts (olive green, short sleeve)
Please do not send bags of chips. They will not make the transition.
Beef jerky, beef summer sausage (non-perishable; labeled USDA Beef)
Canned cheese dips (NO glass please)
Canned sardines, smoked oysters
Chicken or tuna lunch kits (includes foil pouch of tuna, crackers, and condiments in each single-serving kit)
Cookies
Fruit: single serving size cans
Gum, Lifesavers®, mints (blister pack gum is best because of the intense heat)
Hard candy (single-wrapped)
Jalepeno Velveeta® and crackers
Nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, trail mix, dried fruit
Pop Tarts, cereal bars, granola bars
Popcorn
Power bars, protein bars, nutritional bars
Ramen noodles
Ravioli and other canned ready-to-eat meals (single serving) with pop-top
Seasoning salts, flavoring salts
Single-serving bags of snacks, crackers
Taco Bell sauce packets
Crystal Light® (or other brand) "On The Go" flavor packets
Ground coffee
Hot cocoa mixSocks (bootcut, black)
Instant coffee
Lemonade mix, Kool-Aid® mix, Tang®, Iced Tea mix
Sports drink mix (powdered and tablet only)
Sugar and creamer packets for coffee (No artificial sweetener)
Stocking caps (plain or black)
Sunglasses
Tactical scarves
T-shirts (olive drab or white)

Communication Items:

Envelopes
Pens and unsharpened pencils
Small, blank journals
Small pads of paper
Small pocket notebooks (no large spiral notebooks)

Personal Supply Items:

72" bootlaces (brown or tan preferred)
Batteries (AA are most requested, then AAA)
Cigars
Disposable, instant hand warmers (during the winter months only)
· Electrical tape
· Leatherman all-in-one tool (see photo)
· Snack, sandwich, quart-size Ziploc plastic bags
· Super glue
· Tactical duct tape: military green, tan, or black
· Odor Eaters® for boots

Personal Care Items:

Eye Drops (to relieve dry eye, not redness)
Eyeglass wipes
Insect Repellent
Lip balm (Blistex®, Chapstick®, Carmex®) in stick-tubes rather than tubs, not tinted
Pain relievers (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol®, Midol®) in small containers
Saline spray/drops for sensitive nasal passages
Sunblock (travel size or stick preferable, no aerosol SPF 30+)
Throat lozenges
Travel size packages of Q-tips

WE CANNOT SEND THESE ITEMS:

Used food or hygiene items
Aerosol cans
Anything glass
Bars of soap
Chocolate during summer months (March-October)
Clothing items of color other black, white, and olive green
Hardcover books, children's books
Homemade food items
Kids toys or stuffed animals
Large games
Large sporting balls
Pork or pork by-products
Pump dispenser style bottles
Used food or hygiene items
Waterguns

***Do not send glass containers. Pork and pork by-products are not allowed to be shipped to most Middle East combat locations. Please send non-perishable foods only. Single-serving package sizes are preferred; large packages won't stay fresh and are harder to ship. If you can stuff it in your pocket and it's not going to spoil or melt during the summer season, it's a good thing to send!

Color of underclothing and socks is not as important as making sure they are 100% cotton. Send fingerless gloves and stocking caps during winter months only. (September-February)

Please purchase small or travel-size items for personal care. We try to send a new toothbrush and razors in every package, as the demand is very high for these items. Toothpaste tubes get messy; the plastic "bottles" of toothpaste stand up better to the conditions of combat zones. The new "Brush-Ups®" are very popular and useful for the troops.

Foot-care is critical and the demand for quality products is very high. Be sure that all items are in their original, sealed packages.

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