Thursday, October 16, 2008

2008 Christmas Projects - start NOW!

It's that time of the year already!

Thanksgiving cards should go out by the end of October, packages now.

MOST CHRISTMAS PACKAGES TO IRAQ SHOULD BE MAILED THE WEEK BEFORE THANKSGIVING! You can get an extra week using Priority Mail, which I always recommend anyway!



I am getting a couple of new units in Afghanistan, and because mail there is MUCH slower than Iraq, I recommend earlier if possible. PRIORITY MAIL helps.

CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS PROJECTS: Yesterday I received an email from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany (LRMC), and they would appreciate our participation again. The great news is: they only need about 500 this year as incoming wounded numbers are WAY down! (Last year we sent 1,000.) They do NOT want Christmas cards -- they get thousands. The do need and accept get-well cards.

They are still looking for help with t-shirts, slippers, and other necessary items for the wounded if you want to help that way. If you want to help in this year-long project, ask me.

I'll also be looking for Christmas stockings for the Afghanistan troops. Their facilities are quite bare, they need hygiene items as well as fun stuff (the typical stocking stuffers: candy, cookies, chips, beef jerky, & other goodies, DVDs, etc). We can also send tins of cookies. Everything will be collected by their chaplain and distributed at Christmas services.

If you want to participate, send me an email with the request in the SUBJECT LINE.
Example:
LRMC stockings for wounded troops,
Afghanistan troop stockings,
Afghanistan cookie tins,
or
Adopt-a-Soldier (either just for the holidays, or all year)


I do NOT publish addresses on this blog. You must email your request to me.


I suggest the classic red & white stockings that are approximately 20" x 9". You can purchase them for as little as 99 cents at the local dollar stores. But you can use whatever size and color you'd like. Even make your own.

Candy and other fun holiday-themed goodies and "stuff" from the drug stores, Target, grocery stores, etc., are good fillers. Small candy canes tend not to break like the full-size ones you might hang on a tree. They no longer want batteries nor music CDs. The do want domestic phone cards (withOUT expiration dates), iTune cards, and would LOVE iPod shuffles (for their downloaded music). Those last few are an awesome addition, but of course would add a lot of cost. Do whatever you can.

Please insert a note or Christmas card in your stockings, or at least the shipping box, saying you are participating in
"The Aunt Nancy USA Holiday Project www.auntnancyusa.com"
Then you might also include your family or group name & photo, and your own email or snail-mail address. You could also include a return envelope with your address and a blank notecard.

Make your packages very neat. If the addresses "TO" or "FROM" are not clear the packages get tossed out. Don't put "cute" stuff on the outside of the box. Make the box look professional. Use 2" tape on ALL edges. No string. When reusing a box from something else, be sure to black out any bar codes or previous mailing addresses.

Groups such as Scout packs can often get $100 donations from stores like Target. Many offer help for community groups. It's worth asking!


As always, I will do my best to try to keep up with all the emails this time of year. In the past I manage to lose or miss several of you (especially last year after the "Family Fun" article). This project is just me and my trusty laptop, no group of helpers. There are still about 25 people on my waiting-to-adopt-a-soldier list.

Email me at: Nancy@auntnancyusa.com



More mailing deadline info:
Link to United States Postal Service Military Holiday Shipping dates: USPS Dates

MORE GOOD NEWS:
The United States Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail, Large, Flat Rate Box to APO/FPO addresses receives $2 reduction!
Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Boxes shipped to an APO/FPO destination receive a $2 reduction. Either version of the large box — with or without the America Supports You logo — can receive the reduced price at retail or online. The smaller regular flat-rate boxes are not eligible for the military price reduction.
Be sure to check you get the right box and rate from the post office! The boxes are free!

Get your boxes, and Customs Declaration forms, early. Having the boxes may help you figure out how much you want to stuff the stockings.

Many of last year's tips still apply. Click on "Mailing tips" or "Christmas mailings" under GROUP TOPICS on the left for more details.
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