ADOPT A HERO
The Adopt a Hero Program is a dynamic hub that connects people with members of the U.S. military. The organization has an online form to connect adopters with service personnel. Their website also has a form for military members to sign up to be adopted.
After Adopt a Hero makes the connection you can simply send items needed such as food, clothing, books, and games. Below is a photo of one of the care packages I sent to my adoptee. I sent along some clothes for the colder weather, some sweet treats, and a thumb drive so my adoptee can save his photos and files.
U.S. Military Shipping Reminders
1. Ensure correct recipient address: The Department of Defense established a mail system of "states" outside the country for those in the military to receive mail via the U.S. Each of these has a zipcode.
You will also need the correct PSC (Postal Service Center), CMR (Community Mail Room), UMR (Unit Mail Room), RPO (Regional Post Office), APO (Army Post Office) or OMDC (Official Mail Distribution Center) number.
2. Pre-weigh the package to ensure it is under 70 pounds.
3. Check item restrictions: Military members in some locations, such as those ruled by Islamic law forbid certain items. Additionally, aerosal cans, tobacco, fresh fruit, vegetables, and plants are not permitted. Battery-powered items must have the batteries removed.
4. Use postal approved boxes, these can easily be purchased at mail centers, office supply stores, and some craft stores.
5. Neatly package items. This is where saving paper and bubble wrap from items you receive comes in handy. Shipping paper, bubble wrap, and poly-fil help to keep items from shifting and protect the contents. Do not use duct tape, this is prohibited. Duct tape often melts and/or does not hold well in transport. It is best to purchase clear mailing tape to secure all edges and folds of boxes.
6. A customs form must be filled out at the post office or mail center. Remember to have a pen handy to complete the form, the complete mailing address, your address, a list of the items in the package, and an estimated or exact value of the items in the package. The U.S. Post Office is usually good at making sure you complete the form, so the package makes it to the recipient. Private mail centers, such as AIM, may not remember. Make sure in either case you get the form. I prefer AIM to the post office, my local post offices are not as friendly or helpful.
Ryan Rust, National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing hopeful, is the founder of Adopt a Hero.
You may also wish to join in and support Operation Merry Christmas. This is an effort by America 4R Marines to send 5550 Christmas stockings. You can check out more about this opportunity by following the link below.
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