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Topic: Adopt a Soldier and/or an Afghan Child "Swap"  (Read 815 times)
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Joined: 11-Feb-2005

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« on: January 10, 2007 02:04:42 PM »

OK, so this one isn't exactly a swap, in the sense that you wouldn't get a return package in the mail.  But it's still pretty darn rewarding, so please read on...!

As we hear more and more about the escalation of violence in Iraq, the number of American deaths passing 3,000, etc., lately I've been wondering whether there was some small concrete action I could take to show support for our troops.  After some research, I discovered www.AnySoldier.com,a Web site where you can request the address of a service member who will pass your letters and packages to fellow soldiers that don't often receive mail.   

Two care packages later, and I'm hooked!  Care packages are fun to put together, and it's incredibly cool to know you're making a difference in the quality of life for someone who's doing so much for our country.

Anyway, how does Craftster fit in...?  I thought it might be neat to do a "swap" where we all send our packages to an AnySoldier address rather than to one another....

There's one place that seems particularly promising -- it's a Combat Support Hospital in Afghanistan.  There are 50 soldiers who work there, and they have very simple housing that's basically a room with a bed.  So, lots of opportunities for crafting items like floor coverings / thow rugs (apparently a big need), mirrors, pillows, and other things to make the room more cozy.  Then there are the injured soldiers.  They  often need clothing (such as sweatshirts) while they recuperate, plus I'm sure there's a need for comfort items like pillows or blankets.  And this clinic also treats Afghan trauma patients, many of them children.  When the children leave, they try to send them home with  clothes and a stuffed animal or toy.  Plus, they keep shelves stocked with treats, toiletries, snacks, etc. from home for one and all to take as needed.

This all seems to leave a lot of room for crafting options.  Plus, even people who are anti-war can get behind people who heal.  And there's also the option of crafting specifically for the Afghani children -- international peace through crafting!

Experienced organizers, any reasons this swap might be particularly hard to organize?  Would a requirement of posting photos of the package be a suitable substitute for a DC number?  Or just a requirement for a personal message that the package has gone?  (But we'd want photos anyway, to see what everyone sends!)

Any questions or ideas?  Anyone?

(Sorry this has been such a book ... has anyone even read this far???)  Embarrassed

Thanks!  Tara (twowishes)

So I finally started a blog.... 
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007 03:24:38 PM »

I have to say I think this is a great idea!!  My DH got back from Kandahar last year and he said that the kids were amazing.  Just to give them a simple school notebook and pen or pencils was the best feeling he said, because their little eyes would light up like you had given them the world!! I would be in, but it would have to be in February cause I'm maxed on swaps for January. Smiley

I do personal swaps!

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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2007 01:43:14 PM »

It turns out this isn't even a pseudo-"swap" because packages are going out with nothing coming back in return.  So we've been moved to the Charitable Causes board....

Nonetheless, I propose we still run this something like a swap, with a "send by" date and a gallery.  That should create some excitement for the process and hopefully move people from the "gee, what a good idea" zone to actually sending a package!

January and early Feburary seem like a busy swapping time already for many people, so how about a send by date of March 1?

Please PM me if you're interested in participating, and I'll add your name to the list!  I'll also write up a FAQ in the next couple of days with details on biggest needs, how to mail, etc.

Sending these packages is really so much fun.  Hope you all can join in!


So I finally started a blog.... 
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