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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12/18/2009

Airborne Angel Cadets fetaured in Dallas Morning News

Thanks to Lindsey Bever and the Dallas Morning News for today's newspaper article (below) on the Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas.

Local nonprofit sends Christmas to troops overseas
More than 5,000 soldiers are beginning to receive their packages from home — ones filled with stuffed stockings, phone cards, boxes of blank Christmas cards to write in and small toys to send home to their children.

These holiday reminders were sent by Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas, a local nonprofit that ships care packages to soldiers and troops serving in the United States Armed Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

"We’ve basically become their family away from home," said Nancy Carter, founder of Airborne Angels. "We build a relationship with them. They become my sons and daughters."

Eight times a year, the group of about 50 volunteers gathers donated items coveted by the soldiers, such as snacks, coffee, batteries, beef jerky and basic toiletries, and they have a packing party.

Currently, Airborne Angels is shipping much-needed socks, hand warmers and knit hats, Carter said. "You don’t realize the simple things they miss," she said.

Just after Capt. Billy Watkins of McKinney was deployed to Bagdad in July 2008, he began to receive boxes from home. He said the most memorable package he received contained a pair of NASCAR bed sheets. "They sent Tony Stewart NASCAR sheets," said Watkins, who is returning to reserve status in the Army. "I took those sheets and thought that was just the coolest thing. It meant a lot. It was a big morale boost."

And that’s just what these men and women need, said Watkins' wife, Julie.  "The soldiers feel like life has been put on pause, but the rest of the world keeps going," she said.
"Airborne Angels helps the soldiers feel like they’re not forgotten — that the rest of the world hasn’t gone on without them."

Julie Watkins was elected head of the family readiness group for her husband’s unit shortly after he was deployed. She became a focal point, sending care packages to the soldiers. She said it was rewarding to be able to send the soldiers a piece of home, but her personal resources were limited. That’s where Airborne Angels came in.

Julie Watkins began volunteering with the group, shipping packages to her soldiers. "For me, [Airborne Angels] was the avenue to make sure my soldiers over there were taken care of," she said. "It gave me a way to take care of them I couldn’t have done otherwise."

Carter said the real reward comes when the volunteers get to meet their adopted soldiers. When Lt. Steven Deputy of The Colony came home from Kabul, Afghanistan, for leave a few months ago, he went to an Airborne Angels packing party. Deputy’s wife, Heather, said he was amazed by the support from people he'd never met. "I'm glad we found the Airborne Angels," she said. "It's been a huge relief to have them helping Steve out. It's taken a lot of pressure off. I’m doing well to get a box out every month. It’s been a huge relief to know he’s not just relying on me for contact from home."

And Carter said Airborne Angels don’t stop until the soldiers come home. "One thing I’ve heard over and over from these soldiers is, 'Wow, you guys were here for us till the very end,'" Carter said. "The best part is hearing their feedback and [when the get back] collecting on my long-awaited hugs."  Watkins said Airborne Angels is the soldiers’ connection to home. "I just never felt like home was far away thanks to those guys," he said.

How to help
Make a money donation to Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas online or donate toiletries and nonperishable food items. Canned or boxed food that needs to be cooked, pork products and aerosol cans cannot be accepted.
For more information, visit www.airborneangelcadets.com.

Lindsey Bever is a reporter with neighborsgo and can be reached at 972-436-5551 ext. 3004 or via e-mail at lbever@neighborsgo.com.