As we near Independence Day here in the U.S., you might want to send a care package to a loved one or friend overseas fighting for our country. Here at myFiveBest have been asked, “What is the proper way to do this?” After a little bit of research (and a call to our local post office) we offer to you some details about sending a care package to one of our military. This is a very good thing to do and you’ll feel right making someone’s life more comfortable. Our heroes need supplies, so please send whatever you can.
If you are going to send a package over to Iraq or Afghanistan, you are going to probably use the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS delivers to APO (Army Post Office) and FPO (Fleet Post Office) and the charges are cheaper than if you were going to ship overseas. If you are going to do this, make sure that you pick up a Priority Mail Flat Rate Box to ship your supplies in, as well. These will save you a great deal of money because (a) the boxes are free from the Post Office or by mail from www.usps.com , and (b) the cost is just dependent upon the size of the box, not the weight. The cost to ship something will be between $10-$12.
When packing the box, remember that items get damaged when going across town, let alone overseas to a different continent. Make sure you pack your items well, using proper cushioning materials to ensure their safe delivery. Also consider where the items are going before they get to your loved ones. For example, chocolate melts in 120 degree desert-like climates. There are many items you can send that don’t require this much precaution and will still make the soldiers happy.
Make sure that you know what you are allowed to send and what is prohibited. The countries that our soldiers are in are strict Muslim regimes and the United States takes this into consideration. Some of the items on the list of no-no’s are: Pornographic material of any kind, adult-natured material, bulk quantities of religious materials contrary to the Islamic faith, and any pork or pork by-products. You can find out more specific items through the soldier to whom you are sending your care package.
There is a specific form that you must fill out in order to get your package overseas. The main one is the Customs Form, PS Form 2976-A. It will ask for your information, the soldier’s information and the contents of the box. You can get these forms at the Post Office or mailed to you from www.usps.com .
You cannot send a package to “Any Soldier, Afghanistan” or “US Army Soldier”. You must have a specific name of the person you are sending the package to. If you do not know a soldier serving overseas, you can find out the names through any number of government organizations or web sites. One of our favorite web sites for this is www.anysoldier.com . It is the brain child of Army Sgt. Brian Horn from Maryland and it allows you to send packages to him with the statement “Any Soldier”. Sgt. Horn makes sure soldiers who aren’t receiving packages from home get something from the people here in the U.S. For more details, check out his web site. A similar site that we like is www.treatanysoldier.com . Same situation, same good results.