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Opsend Wrap!

December 4, 2010

Christmas is just around the corner!  We’ve been working hard at Military Missions to get packages ready to send to our deployed troops. Some of our volunteers have been putting in ten to twelve hour days.  It’s incredible to see the dedication shown by our workers and their determination to make sure our troops receive something for Christmas this year.

When we first started sending boxes a few years ago, we typically sent out about 50 boxes to soldiers deployed during the Christmas holiday.  In 2007 we sent out over 750 quart sized ziploc bags filled with treats to our deployed Kentucky National Guard soldiers.  We also sent out 170 individual flat rate boxes that year.  I remember thinking that we had finally arrived and were really accomplishing something.  After all, I didn’t set out to start a nonprofit so anything over 25 boxes was pretty amazing.

Military Missions really grew in 2008 and by the time Christmas came around, we expanded from 175 boxes to 1000.  In 2009, we sent out 2000 boxes and our goal for 2010 is to send out 3000 boxes.

We need your help to make this goal a reality.  If you are interested in saying thank you to someone who serves on your behalf, we hope you will consider making a donation or volunteering your time to help us make the care packages.  We need gift wrappers, card writers and screeners, as well as box packers.  We work hard but we also have a lot of fun.  Check out our video and you will see what I mean!


CALL to ACTION! Turn something little into something really big!

November 6, 2010

Military MIssions is trying to get donation drop off boxes set up around Central Kentucky.  If you have any connections to places where we could put out a box. (local business, church, office, school, neighborhood clubhouse, etc) please ask permission as soon as possible.  We can provide a box which would be wrapped in Christmas paper and placed at their location.  They are welcome to decorate their own box or stick their own barrel out if they prefer.  We can also supply the sign for the box and the care package suggestion list.

Please consider asking local retailers with whom you have a connection.  It can be any type of business willing to put a box out.  They can pick items they sell in their store which we could use in the packages.  Customers could make purchases from the retailer and the business would benefit as well.  We just stood outside of Sam’s last weekend and received $6000 worth of donations.  Sam’s Club sold $6000 worth of merchandise because we stood outside their doors asking for support!

We have a gentleman who is willing to go around and pick up items as the donation boxes fill up.  We would have these boxes out through November and December.  Any donations collected after we mail the Christmas care packages can be used for the boxes we will mail out in January.

Should you be able to arrange a new location for a donation box, please send the following information to today!

Your name:
Your email:
Your phone:
Location where box will be located:

Point of contact (POC) on the premises with the donation box:
POC phone number:
POC email address:
Days and hours that items can be dropped off at that location:

Thank you for taking the time to help us out with this little project.  If we all do a little, it could turn into something really big!


WHAT? Christmas already?

October 30, 2010

Okay, it’s not even officially Halloween until tomorrow.  I still have all day today to figure out what my costume is going to be, so why do I find myself talking about Christmas already?

I’m the first person to become annoyed when the shelves are filled with Easter baskets in January and Halloween costumes on July 5th.  If I actually chose a costume on July 5th, I wouldn’t like it by October or it wouldn’t fit due to my inevitable weight gain.  Why retailers think we won’t buy our stuff from them if they aren’t the first to throw it out there shows their lack of confidence in the fact that we live in a very materialistic society.  The economy is sluggish, but people haven’t stopped shopping.

With all that said, I guess I’ve become a part of the problem because I’ve been talking about Christmas since August.  In September, I was asking retailers when they would have their lights and wrapping paper out on the shelves. The tree has been up for weeks and I’ve got Alvin and the Chipmunks stuck in my head on most days.

Before you dismiss me as a shopoholic, let me tell you my real motivation for getting ready for Christmas so early.  It’s about our troops.  Thousands of our men and women will be overseas on Christmas Day.  If we wait until the last minute to shop for their packages, our boxes won’t reach them until Valentine’s Day.

At Military Missions Inc, we spend three months doing nothing but Christmas.  We host events, we collect donations, we write cards, and we write a lot of customs forms.  In 2007, we mailed out 172 boxes and 756 quart sized unit bags.  The second year we sent out 1000 boxes.  Last year we sent out 2000 packages.  We hope to reach 5000 troops this year and we need your help.  You see, we rely on word of mouth to get our message out.  For every dime we could spend on advertising that would mean someone wasn’t getting a box for Christmas.

If you are in the Central Kentucky area, you can join us just about any day of the week between now and early December.  We will put you to work.  If you live elsewhere, we still need your help.  We need donations to pay for the postage and we need everyone to write letters and cards.  Every box contains 10-20 cards from all over the USA.  Did I mention the cards are the best part of the package?

If you know someone deployed, we will send them a box too.  Just find our website’s “add a hero” page to get them on the list.

At the very least, if you are one who has been blessed to live in this free nation, why not give back by reposting this and share the video. Start following this blog and then you will be the first to help us spread the word each day with our new posts.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to see something like this go viral?  I happen to think this message is a lot more worthy of earning a spot on Fox News than the latest Lady Gaga video.  Just sayin……

Here’s the youtube link you can repost as well!

Reminders of Home

October 26, 2010

It can’t be said any better than this…..

FOB Salerno, like the other outposts in Afghanistan, is a very long way from home.  Want to lift the  morale and spirits of our troops?  We could use your help!

In case you missed the video…

October 24, 2010

When we realized that our video wasn’t broadcasting on youtube due to a ban the Warner Music Group has issued for anyone who uses music produced on their record label, we decided to repost the video from another host and repost the blog entry so you could get a glimpse of just a few of those who have received our care packages and their families who have bravely waited for their homecoming.

Click on this link:

A Few Faces from the Front.

A Few Faces from the Front

October 24, 2010

A Few Faces from the Front.

So what’s in the box?

October 21, 2010

A lot of people want to know what to send to our deployed troops in a care package. I don’t think there is one answer to that question.  For one thing, everyone has different tastes.  But let’s put that aside and think about it from the soldier’s perspective.

One of the first things I’ll point out is simply the fact that they aren’t all guys!  There are many women who have stepped up to serve our nation.  They want and need many of the same items we would send our male soldiers, but let’s not forget that we could throw a few other thing in their box that would be appreciated.

Back when I first started sending boxes to my son, he spent most of his first deployment living outside the wire, where his truck was his home.  Back then, he wanted baby wipes as showers were a rare occurrence, happening only when his platoon returned to base in between missions.  Other requests included batteries, snacks, and hot sauce to cover up the taste of the MRE’s on which they survived.  Paperback books were a popular item, too.  My son actually decided he liked to read during his first deployment.  When you are stuck in the middle of a desert for 7 months, what else is there to do in between missions?

During the second deployment, the Marines in his unit were living in trailers on base.  They were outside the wire all day, but they did report back to base at the end of each shift.  Showering was actually an daily option, so baby wipes weren’t as desired as they had been the first time around.  Now that they had access to electricity, he and his buddies requested dvd’s and watched movies during down time.

A remote area was the place my son called home during the third deployment.  The Marines found themselves eating one kind of meat over and over, day in and day out.   This time they wanted hot sauce, barbecue sauce, and any other kind of sauce I could find. Homemade chocolate chip cookies were also a very big hit, in fact, the favorite item sent during deployment number three. The weirdest thing I ever heard him say was, “Hey, Mom, could you stop sending so much junk food?  We just want healthy stuff.”

Over the past six years, Military Missions has supported troops in many countries, with Iraq and Afghanistan being the most common areas to receive our packages.  It really depends on where our troops are stationed as to what they need.  There are countless places to be deployed.  Some have access to microwaves.  Others do not.  Some eat surf and turf every Sunday.  Others eat MRE’s during their entire deployment.  Some will cook Ramen noodles on the hood of their truck because it’s so hot in the desert.  Others trudge through 2 feet of snow up and down the side of a mountain just to get their deliveries because the roads are impassible.

So what should be sent?  Just ask any soldier or Marine.  There are a few answers that we hear quite often such as socks and powdered drink mix, but the most common answer by far is simply, “We like anything!”  It’s really the thought that counts.

It is greatly appreciated when they receive items on their wish list, but unless your box is filled with items completely useless for the soldier’s situation, he is going to be grateful you remembered he was fighting for our freedoms. The items in your box will be used and enjoyed, but the idea that you cared enough to take a few moments to send a package and write a note of encouragement is what will stick in the hearts and minds of our troops.

So what are you waiting for?  Get that box out and fill it up with goodies.  Need some ideas?  We are going to take a few polls over the next few days and let you know what others are putting in their boxes.

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