Thanks to my friend Rick Cortes over at The Drawing Board for letting me know about AnySoldier.com. It's a great website dedicated to providing information on sending care packages to US Soldiers based on their needs or requests. It's updated as often as the military contacts can get information sent in, and there are requests from Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine personnel.
My aunt, my wife, and myself gathered some items to send to a group overseas in the hope of cheering them up during the holiday season and in appreciation for doing a job they may not agree with politically, but one they are trying to do good with regardless. Thanks to the efforts of the numerous women and men, many children can go to school for the first time and civilians can enjoy a freedom to criticize current administrations without fear of torture.
The past few days have been spent gathering items to send, but I finally was able to mail it today. A 20 pound package cost $35.00 Canadian to send and should arrive within 30 days. Hopefully just in time for the holidays. We decided against sending food items though, since it could cause more delay at US Customs. We did include things that they asked for, as well as some wool stocking caps (or toques as we call them up here), flip-top gloves, and Christmas decorations and gifts to reinvigorate their morale.
We may not agree with all of the military actions around the world, or the actions of the US leaders, but the soldiers have a number among them who have never been away from family during Christmas. Many of the soldiers do not even receive mail or letters from home. If a package we send can help ease the loneliness and stress over there, then it's the least we can do. If you can put aside your political beliefs and think of the soldiers as people that could have easily been your or I, then it might help you in deciding to send something to lift their spirits.
I couldn't find information for Canadian, British or other soldiers, but if you know somebody serving in the military, or just thought about sending something to boost morale, now is as good a time as any to find out how. There is no guarantee it will get there, but as with anything requiring effort, there's always hope.