You’re thinking about troops deployed or stationed far from home. You know that not everyone is lucky enough to have friends or family that they can count on for gifts and goodies.
And you want to step into that void, providing a little comfort and love from the home front.
Except…you can’t just ship off a package to “Any Soldier” from the post office yourself. Mailing a box filled with love to “Any Soldier, Anywhere” by yourself, without support from a recognized group, just isn’t a thing. (In fact, the Post Office won’t deliver packages or mail addressed to “Any…” military recipients!)
Instead, try these thoughtful ways to spread some cheer to the troops!
Use a partner organization
One of the most popular ways to send mail to “any soldier” is to use AnySoldier.com. Looking to support another branch of services? There are also options for the USMC, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard!
For starters, take a moment to find out how the site works. Basically, it’s like this:
- Select your service branch
- Look at the contact list for a profile that sparks your interest
- Request the mail address of that contact
- Fill up a box and send it off with the “Attn: Any Soldier” in the address
From there, your “contact” will receive the box and distribute it to someone in their unit or command who could use some cheering up. This might be the easiest way to fill a box yourself. Plus, AnySoldier is a registered non-profit run by a military family in response to their son’s experiences in Iraq during the 2003 surge. They get it.
Give to a care package drive
There are many military organizations that routinely send care packages overseas, like the USO. Chances are, there is an organization in your area with connections to deployed troops. Do a little sleuthing and send an email or give them a ring. Even if they’re not, they might know of another group that is actively collecting an sending care packages.
Once you’ve got that information, you know what to do. Donate the requested items only (even if it doesn’t make sense to you, there’s a reason they’re asking for specific items!). If you can’t get to a store, you can always give a monetary donation for the organization to use to ship the care packages.
Donate a box online
You’d love to brighten a deserving service member’s day, but frankly you just don’t have time to DIY. That’s 100% okay! Instead of stuffing a box yourself, you can purchase a pre-made care package that will be stuffed and sent for you.
Try these organizations:
- Troopster: founded by a service member (who is also a military spouse) who understands the needs of our troops, these curated care packages are thoughtfully donated throughout the year!
- Operation Gratitude: created by a USO airport lounge volunteer in 2003, OG exists to remind troops that someone cares about their safe return.
- Operation Care Packages: for $25 you can sponsor a food or toiletry care package that Operation Care Packages will send on your behalf – they’ll even include your personal care or letter if you’d like!
If none of these strike your fancy, Operation We Are Here has compiled and maintained a gigantic list of all the ways you can support the troops with care package donations all year round, and include specific categories like deployed female troops, military families and working dogs.
Chances are high that local veteran and military support organizations will know of a few folks in need right where you live!
Many VFWs and other veterans organizations events for members and deliver items to families in need. The local USO or military unit readiness groups could also organize events throughout the year. Local food pantries that serve veterans and military families could also use donations and other support.
Reach out to your local VFW, USO, military base community service organization or other community group. You could do a quick online search if nothing pops immediately to mind or you’re unsure of who to contact.
No matter where, when or how you support the troops, veterans and military families, your gift will have a lasting impact!
Looking For More Care Package Ideas? Try These:
- 40 Ways to Save Money on Care Packages
- The Gigantic List of Free Care Packages for Deployed Service Members
- Here’s What Troops Really Want in a Care Package
Meg Flanagan is a teacher, blogger and military spouse. She owns Meg Flanagan Education Solutions, an education advocacy service dedicated to serving families on the K-12 journey. You can find Meg on Facebook. Meg is also available as a freelance writer and personal education advocate!