We Love Our Troops

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What It Takes To Pack A Box

1) I don’t send food and hygiene together. So decision needs to be made what the warrior's needs are. Or we pack 2 boxes (1 food/snack and 1 hygiene). Reason? Often these boxes will take weeks to arrive. They will go through many temperature changes before arriving. Things such as soap will cause granola bars to taste like soap. 

2) Financial resources for items that fill the box or donated items.

3) 90 minutes of time. Unless you have taped flip tops shut such as shampoos or lotions and placed items in Zip-Lock baggies prior to packing

4) Large flat rate box and custom from Post Office. You'll also need packing tape.  I now do custom forms online -takes about 15  minutes per box. If doing online, you'll need access to printer for the custom form which you'll need to secure on top of box.

5) Zip Lock baggies. If it can spill, leak or smell, it will. So 99% of items go into zip lock baggies before being packed.

6) The patience for a 3D Tetris game. We want the most shipped for our funds. Once box is filled, we  close lid and shake, if it rattles, more items are added.

7) Most boxes contain $25 to $40 worth of items. Of course it depends on brand, items requested or  what is needed based on warriors location. Some boxes are more costly when fans, batteries, protein powders, work gloves or other items are needed. We always use common sense buying at sales, or with coupons and only send what we would be willing to use with our own family.

Key points if you are shipping a box on your own. (added 1-10-20)

Many repeated from above information. They are that important. 

If your items will weight over 7lbs (for Michigan is my experience) you will want a large flat rate box from post office-you pay when you return it full and cost is $18.45. IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE A MILITARY DECORATED BOX. Although they are neat to use-not required. If your items less then 7lbs then any brown box will work. Or a medium flat rate box if you have more then 5lbs at $14.35

You'll also need a custom form-YOU CAN NOT SHIP without it. Each item packed needs to be listed on form.

When you pack your box, if items can spill leak or smell, THEY WILL. These boxes are going to be tossed around, plastic wrapped to a pallet and dropped by helicopter or be moved truck to plane to truck etc. So, everything that can leak or smell should be placed inside individual zip lock bags. The bags are often reused to keep sand and bugs out of other items as well. If your item has a flip top, tape it shut.

 

Include your contact information inside the box. The customs forms are often torn off and destroyed when the box is delivered (done to keep your address safe from bad guys). That also means the top of box is messed up and your return address could be torn off also.

Once you believe your box is full, shake it, if things are wiggle around, add more items. Why pay to ship empty space. Batteries need to be non lithium and in original packaging, No glass, No glitter, no pork in items, all these notes  can be found under the tab "what we send"

These warriors are working long days, eating, trying to clean weapons and themselves. Many have families including young children they need to stay in contact with. Their time is limited, so please DON’T EXPECT a response.

If you have any questions on what can be sent or how to get your box ready, please reach out to me at weloveourtroops@voyager.net.