How can you help our nonprofit send care packages to some of the most remote of the roughly 225,000 U.S. military troops serving overseas in 2017?

1) Donate Financially - Our greatest need is cash for our mailing costs. With no paid staff, we strive to maximize the use of donations. We are a 501(c)(3) charity, so your gifts are tax deductible. We accept checks to Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas, P.O. Box 116691, Carrollton, TX 75011. You can donate via credit card through our Click and Pledge account.

2) Donate Goods - Our all-volunteer charity is based in the Dallas area, but receives product donations from across the USA for care packages for our Soldiers and Troops overseas. We kindly request that you contact us at support@airborneangelcadets.com before sending any care package goods.

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6/07/2008

Dallas Morning News spotlights our group

Thanks to the Dallas Morning News newspaper and Jacquielynn Floyd for featuring us in this article:

Care packages ensure troops are not forgotten
Friday, June 6, 2008

Five grinding years into a costly and none-too-popular war, the cheery glow of home-front patriotism has largely worn away.

Americans have fresh problems: food and gas prices, layoffs, an election that's often focused on domestic issues.

It's understandable, I guess, that the war isn't front and center anymore. Unless, of course, you're there.

Unless you're a homesick soldier in a hostile and unfamiliar place, dreaming about things you haven't seen in months: friends, family, a baseball game, a cold beer.

Or unless you're a relative, mentally calculating the countdown to deployment's end. When my youngest brother, a U.S. Army Ranger sergeant, is out of the country, we count every day. It's understandable, I guess, that nonmilitary families are less preoccupied.
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MATT NAGER/Special Contributor - Shelley Latta (left) and Nancy Carter, volunteers from the Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas, box up items to send to soldiers overseas. Collecting supplies for troops isn't a big problem; raising cash to ship the packages is much more difficult.
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So when a friend invited me to a "packing party" to box up care packages for active-duty platoons, I realized that there are groups out there whose determination balances the diminished numbers.

I spent a few lively hours helping the Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas load up cardboard boxes with a jumble of donated supplies, the kind of stuff you and I can pick up at Target on the way home, but a soldier often can't get: DVDs, batteries, books, mixed nuts, the always-welcome baby wipes. Clean socks.

Every shipment is "themed." This one included July Fourth decorations.

The Airborne Angel Cadets – a volunteer group loosely based on a nucleus of flight attendants and friends from a high school band booster club – has sent a shipment at least every other month for the last 31/2 years.

But it's getting harder, said organizer Nancy Carter, who often meets soldiers while working as a Delta Airlines flight attendant.

"It's not as easy to raise the funds," she said. "We get a surge at Christmas, but these soldiers are there all year long."

Donated goods aren't as big a problem as the cash needed for postage. Sending a single shipment to the group's half-dozen adopted platoons costs hundreds of dollars.

Thanks to a generous donation from a local scout council, the group has sent more than 6,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. They've got 10,000 more, boxed up in a warehouse – ready to mail, as soon as they can raise the needed postage.

"People forget it's expensive to send these boxes," Nancy said, gesturing to the pile of 30 or so loaded boxes we had stacked up. "This is probably going to be $500 or $600."

Other volunteers showed me how to jam every box full, the big ones with lightweight items, and packing the heavier stuff – books and batteries – into the smaller flat-rate boxes.

Becky Pipka packed with quiet efficiency, deftly picking through a pile of toothpaste tubes and deodorant sticks. Her son, Josh, will be home from Iraq late this month, ending a grueling 15-month deployment.

The war, she said, has become so politically polarized that most people just don't talk much about it any more. "Unless they have a child over there, I think all this political stuff has just" – she paused to put words to the casual indifference that has set in – "tuned them out."

This is the obsession these volunteers harbor:

It's less about cookies and baby wipes than it is about making sure soldiers know there are people at home who think about their comfort, who view them not as talking points in a political argument but as homesick humans who could use a friendly gesture.

"We hear from them. They tell us how much it means," Nancy said. She was crying a little bit as we talked about it.

"I won't quit till they're all home."