Adopt a Soldier Program
Since our Adopt-a-Soldier Program started in the summer of 2009, we have sponsored many different units including the North Carolina National Guard 30th HBCT, 508th Parachute Infantry Reserve of the 82nd Airborne, North Carolina National Guard 105th MP BN, 203rd Red Horse Squadron of the Air National Guard and the 1452nd HET TC of the North Carolina National Guard.
The project was started by a 17-year member of the Rotary Club, Steve Grubb. The project started when a friend of his from church, Paul R. Johnson, SFC, NCARNG, was deployed for his second tour in Iraq. When another church member asked him, via e-mail, what they could send him, he said he’d prefer for them to send a package to soldiers that didn’t have much of a support network, family and friends, and therefore didn’t receive much of anything. When Grubb brought the request to the club, about 25 people offered up help.
During most campaigns, around 70-80 boxes are sent to the soldiers. Each package costs about $13 to ship and can be filled with a variety of items. Typically, boxes are filled with non-perishable items like lip balm, toothbrushes, personal wipes, magazines, drink mixes for water bottles and games like cards. In recent years, we have also partnered with Military Missions in Action to get boxes to deserving soldier.
Here are a few ways to participate:
- You can donate some items (see “Suggested Item list” and bring them to our weekly meetings and coordinate with others who wish to do the same.
- You can prepare your own package(s) (we have boxes and mailing labels at our Rotary meeting site). See suggested item list.
- You can organize collection of items at your church, place of business, etc. Let me know if you need boxes.
- You can donate $$ toward the shipping cost to our club or to the group that is assisting us in shipping
Suggested Items List
- Coffee creamers
- Protein bars
- Granola bars (snack foods high in calories!)
- Beef jerky/Slim Jims
- Powder drink mixes (e.g. Gatorade)
- Cheese cracker snack packs
- Tuna packets
- Peanut M&Ms
- Dried fruit
- Regular sized boxer shorts
- Extra combat boot socks/cheap cotton crew socks
- 1 gallon freezer zip-lock bags
- Black electrician tape (preferred over duct tape)
- Baby wipes
- Lip balm
- Hand Sanitizer
- Q-tips (for cleaning things)
- Gold Bond medicated powder
- Ball point pens
- Snack items (e.g. crackers, cookies – non-chocolate, peanuts, slim jims, fig newtons, cereal bars, trail mix, dried fruit, tuna packets, etc.) Individually wrapped items are preferred because they can be easily included in packs when away from camp. Drink mixes (powder types that can be added to water bottles).
- Hand sanitizer, waterless soap/cleaner, q-tips, Gold Bond powder
- Tooth brushes
- Cotton (inexpensive) crew socks, underwear (medium)
- Playing cards, card games, puzzles
- Magazines (see restrictions below)
- A personalized note or card would be a nice touch. If you have kids – have them make a card with a note or message inside.
Restricted Items (per USPS)
- Any matter depicting nude or seminude persons, pornographic or sexual items, or non-authorized political materials. It’s best NOT to send ANY type of magazines (it slows down the process because Customs officials will open the package and review the magazines for appropriateness).
- Religious materials contrary to the Islamic faith. Items for the personal use of the addressee are permissible. (Like magazines, inclusion of these items are always checked by US Customs officials – slowing down the shipping of the package).
- Obscene articles (prints, paintings, cards, films, videotapes, etc).
- Chocolate items (tend to melt) – some items (e.g. oreo cookies) are okay. Candy bars – definitely not