Its hard not being home for the holidays. And its even harder when you are thousands of miles away from home in a foreign country, possibly in a war zone. That’s why one of our Spotlights this week is an organization called AnySoldier.com.
Year round, this organization helps connect different armed forces members get care packages to the many men and women who serve in these organizations who do not get mail or care packages from anyone back home. The organization was first formed when Brian Horn was overseas serving and his family was sending him care packages. Shortly after receiving care packages, he asked his family to send more. When his family asked with surprise if they hadn’t sent him enough, he responded that the care packages were for members in his troop that never received anything from anyone. The family took the idea to organize the efforts on an even broader scope and help any service member who could use necessities or even some recognizable things from back home to help being on their tour a little more comfortable or survivable. With much effort from the Horn’s, Anysoldier.com was started!
How it works:
Troops from all over the world will nominate a lead communicator to post their current mailing addresses, along with any current needs or desires from their troop. Needs and desires will vary from shampoo, hand warmers, decks of cards, body wash, ect… Really anything that makes the time away from home a little more manageable. Then volunteers can visit Anysoldier.com and pick any troop they would like, and get an update from the troop on what they currently need. Based on what the troop lists out that they currently need, the volunteer can make a package and ship it to the address that the troop has listed. Each troop participating is listed here with an updated location as well as a wish or need list specific to the troop as to what they currently could use. Check here for a general list on what to send and what not to send.
Once the package is shipped and the troop receives it, the lead communicator in the troop will make sure that the package goes to #anysoldier – which means they will get the package to someone in the troop who doesn’t usually get any care packages or is the most in need of the donation. Often, people who donate will receive a thank you note from the recipient (but not required of the recipient). The troops who receive these donations are so very humble and thankful. Sending over items from back home does wonders to help the soldier morale and make being away from home a little more comfortable.
Anysoldier.com is a non for profit organization that survives completely off of donations and they rely on outside volunteers to make the program work to help the troops out. Especially as the holiday season nears and the troops are away from home and loved ones, please take a look at Anysoldier.com and browse the troops posts to see what they are looking for at this time. You may find you even have some of the things they are looking for laying around the house!
All images used with permission of AnySoldier.com