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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Poker Run

2/07/2016

Unusual Soldiers Care Package Requests - What's the scoop?

It's easy to understand why shampoo, soap, razors, deodorant, foot powder, socks, clothing, electronic goods, reading materials, and other food and toiletry products are requested by our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.  But other wish list items by our military recipients are not as easy to understand.  Below are some requested care package items that might not be so obvious to many of our supporters.

One of the advantages we might have over giant nonprofits, is that we can customize particular care package shipments with specific items.  We don't send a lot of the more expensive, bulkier items due to the high postage costs.  But as budget and donations permit, we ship most of the items below:

Frito Lay Flamin' Hot Cheetos - The troops crave spicy, hot, hard to find tastes. Taco Bell donated hundreds of packets of super hot sauce to us. We love Tabasco and other spicy products.
 "A majority of these Soldiers LOVE Hot Cheetoes".

Flip Flops / Sandals - Often used to walk across a gravel compound to get to the shower facility.
"Yes, Shindand is lovely. I am having a lot of fun walking through all the gravel with my short legs."

Pro / College Sports Branded Items - Lots of sports fans amongst the troops, and they love posters, calendars, t-shirts, footballs, jerseys of their favorite teams.
"Just out of curiosity, do you have access to any Dallas Cowboy items? Half of my office is lifelong fans, and the other half are haters! Either way, it's great for me to be able to flaunt Cowboy items".

Shelf-stable Microwavable Meals - Sometimes troops (without access to dining facilities) get tired of MRE's. And at bases with dining facilities, troops often miss the designated dining hours (or work the midnight shifts), and appreciate microwable meals (Hormel, Velveeta, Pace, Barilla, etc.).
"Chow hall is open for two hours at a time during meal time for hot food but while its closed you can grab pop tarts and stuff like that".
"most people have purchased the water boiler appliance to make oatmeal or noodles for days missions interfere with DFAC (dining facility) hours".

Insoles for Shoes - Wearing heavy boots all day in tough conditions puts a lot of stress on the feet.
"... Dr. Scholls Active Series inserts for tennis shoes and boots. The terrain is real rough here and the heat makes it even more uncomfortable with the standard insoles with army boots. I tried a pair of these in my boots and it is like night and day".

Foldable pocket knives - For cuting hoses, boxes, tape, rope, and other routine maintenance work.
"Knives on base sold out the first day we got here and another shipment won't come in for about 3 months".

Laundry Pods - Many requests for Tide pods or similar. Outsourced laundry service is sometimes questionable, and it's easier to carry a pod with you when you walking across the base to do your laundry.  "We have a laundry service but they don’t use soap at least our clothes smell like they don’t."

Flour - "From a more tactical standpoint, we have been liberally using the foot and body powder on patrols where we use it to mark “lanes” where our mine detectors have swept a path."

Yoga / exercise mats - The troops do work out a lot.  Often request protein powder and nutritional supplements as well.  One group requested a projector to show workout videos to their exercise class.
"If I had to request anything in particular it would be a workout mat". 

Air Fresheners - If a/c is struggling to cool a poorly insulated living quarters in the Mideast in the summer, a crowded room brings many requests for air / room fresheners.

Twin sheets - Often there are no sheets when they arrive, or they get stained/soiled quickly in super hot, dusty locations.
"Soldiers would love sheets if offered."

Mattress pads -  The troops are tough, but many welcome mattress pads.
"We have beds but the mattress are old and the springs grind in your back as you sleep so any kind of padding would be great"

Baby wipes - For remote assignments or to take on missions, wipes sometimes are the only alternative to a shower, and can be very helpful in hot, dusty, sweaty Mideast environments.  Also good for wiping down equipment.
"curious if in the package you guys are sending are baby wipes included in that? Those are definitely a hot seller out here and we're all out."

Powdered Drink Mixes - The military provides plenty of bottled water.  But the troops do crave an alternative at times.  We ship lots of ZipFizz, Gatorade, Crystal Light, Mio and other powdered energy / drink mixes.
"flavored additives for water are nice also. Not too many of us drink sodas and the water gets bland after a while."

Microwable plates / bowls - Not a lot of requests, but we can see where these would be useful.
"I have had some requests for these types of things for soups and other items that cannot be cooked in their original containers"

Sunflower seeds - A healthy alternative to smoking and dipping.
"We have the original kind, but the dill pickle and ranch flavor ones are liked here, especially since we use sunflower seeds to help people quit smoking and dipping"

Eye Glass Care Products - In dusty, sweaty, windy conditions, troops will request cleaning products for their eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Ice Chest / Coolers - For troops wanting to take some cold beverages or food out to a remote assignment, or to throw into their truck while driving on a long mission.