Thursday, August 1, 2013

Operation: Morale - Erin Loves Earl

One of my favorite blogs to keep up with is Erin Loves Earl. She is the wildly talented owner/operator of Candy Kirby Designs and I am a huge fan.

(I actually just received one of her amazing blankets that I plan on posting later!)

She is starting a project called Operation: Morale and needs help spreading the word! I' reposting her request and information below. Head on over to her blog if you need to contact her for information or just to comment and tell her what an amazing idea this is! 

Everyone loves some encouragement.

So below are her words and request:

there is some morale that needs boosting.

this isn't a political issue, this is a human issue. regardless of your beliefs on war; who sent us there, why we're there, whatever, we're there. thousands of men and women are sacrificing for their belief in our country and we need to support them.

US Flag Backlit

i think a lot of people simply forget about our troops unless they have someone in their direct friend or family circles that is involved with the military. it's not that they choose to forget, but life these days is crazy busy. we all seem to have full schedules with work, swim lessons, dance class, errands, projects, vacations, etc. with blinking and chirping reminders from our phones and computers to remind us what we're supposed to be doing. i myself have been caught in my motherhood and business owner duties and haven't thought too much about our men and women at war. i haven't sent anything over to our soldiers in a long time. but that needs to change. 

my dad is over in afghanistan at FOB wright with the navy, air force and army. he is LEP {law enforcement personnel} and this is his second contract in afghanistan. on many bases there are PX's {postal exchanges} where soldiers can usually purchase food, snacks and things like chapstick, shaving cream, razors, etc. his base doesn't have a PX, so there are a lot of things they're going without over there.

as long as i can remember, my dad has always had hard candy in his pockets. atomic fireballs, jolly ranchers and lifesavers could always be found in any pocket of any pant he was wearing. as a kid, that was the best thing ever. {maybe that's why my business is called candy kirby designs? dad, it's all your fault. ;)} my mom has sent countless boxes to wherever my dad has been stationed to keep his pockets full.

he has also been sent so many things from our loving friends and family and he always shares with the men around him. he says that there are a lot of men over there that never get sent anything or if they do, it's rare. maybe their family can't afford it...maybe their family is upset with them for being in the military...maybe they don't have family.

we need to change that. i need to change that. 

i have met so many wonderful people on the internet. it sounds so weird to say {well, type}, but it's true. i've "met" so many thoughtful and kind people through their blogs, my blog and my business. i'm hoping that you guys can help me spread the word about this little project of mine. 

my dad asked around and compiled a list of what they need. here is what he said:

If the packages keep coming, it is a big morale boost and is long lived.  These soldiers are young and told to be tough....they don't share feelings much, so I don't know from them, but as an old man, a dad and grandfather, I would say that getting packages makes them nostalgiac for home for all of the positive reasons. It does help get them through the day. They are thankful for anything and everything.....and especially for snack foods as we have no PX here. They would love:

-Roasted nuts of every kind....peanuts, almonds and especially pistachios.
-Pringles Potato Chips of all flavors....they taste good and travel well here.
-Chocolate in every form.....but it is too hot now to would be a melted mess if sent now.....maybe in October.
-Atomic Fireballs
-Chewing gum
-Copenhagen and Skoal
-Sour hard candy

-Powdered drink mixes

I have spoken to Sgt. Dimas, our Postmaster here and he says it takes between two and three weeks to get a package to Kunar from the States. I will pass around to our different units whatever is received.

here is his address:

Rand Padgett
HHT 3-89 Cav
TF Slugger
FOB Wright
APO AE 09310

you can order free usps boxes made specifically for APO addresses for military personnel HERE and it's only $14.85 {$2 less than their domestic pricing} to send the box to them regardless of weight. if you pay for your shipping online through usps click-n-ship, it's only $13.30. and you can even schedule a free pick-up of your box to ship it when it's convenient for you. let your kids color on the boxes or include drawings. you can also send things to help with their entertainment, such as:

-poker sets
-board games
-balls (footballs, nerf balls, etc.)
-water guns
-pens/paper/envelopes for writing letters home
-current books
-puzzle books

or anything else that you can think of that you would want if you were far away from your friends, family and country.

if you don't want to send packages, the wounded warrior project is a fantastic organization that serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or would, co-incident to their military service on or after september 11, 2001. they are celebrating their ten year anniversary, too. you can donate any amount here.

today is my dad's birthday. he's happy that it's only 85* over there, versus the 104* they've been dealing with the last several weeks. i can't even imagine having to wear combat boots, heavy ACUs {camo jacket and pants}, a helmet and 70 lbs of gear. so let's kick off operation: morale and let's spread some love. please feel free to share this post, pin it, link to it, tweet it, instagram it, everything. share pictures of your packages and use the hash tag #operationmorale. if you know of any businesses or organizations that can help, ask them! the worst they can say is no, right? 

let's boost some morale!