To adopt a hero through their deployment, please go to and sign up. Below are ideas on what to do once you have adopted a service member. You can also go to the "What To Send" page for ideas on what to send. HAVE FUN and thank you for helping me to make sure none of our valiant heroes ever feel alone on the battlefield or when they return home.

Many people have written & asked how they can get their children's classes / boy or girl scout troops / nursing homes / college students involved with supporting the HERO they have adopted, or their entire unit. Your hero will see to it that mail and packages go to those who are getting little or nothing. This was written right before the holidays, but the concept can be done all year long.

To start, you would need to go to the post office and get a customs form and a flat rate box. You don't pay for the box until you fill and ship it. There are three different sizes and cost from $9.95 to $12.95 when filled. You can fit as much as possible in there for the one price. It is the least expensive way to ship to a service member. Generally I only use the large flat rate box if I am using priority mail. Get one of each so you have an indication of size and what you can fit in them. You will need to fill out a white customs form for each box. Often I have found it is more cost effective to use a regular cardboard box and send the items parcel post to our troops. There is a program called "SAM" (which stands for 'space available mail'). If the parcel meets the size and weight requirements, it will go airmail to the US base that will then transport it to the military base overseas. The price is the same as though it is going ground, and generally I would say the postage runs approx $1.00 per pound. Don't have the grand illusion that just because you send something priority to your adopted service member, they will receive the package any sooner. Every dollar saved for me, is another dollar I can put towards the next care package.

Then the kids can write letters or make cards, and if they want to send a care package, each child can be given a limit of say $2 -$5.00 to spend on a service member. The kids will already have seen the box so they will know they have a size restriction to work within. Most people will take their child shopping and turn it into a lesson on giving, by telling them that they will get one less Christmas present this year because they are buying one for a HERO instead, or the parent may have the child do extra chores to raise the money to go shopping.

Some teachers have even turned this into a field trip - albeit it a short one - to teach kids how to get the most for their money and how to select a gift that they know a Soldier would enjoy and also one that will fit in the box. The types of gifts that have come in for Christmas so far are things like Matchbox Cars, Nerf Sports Balls, puzzle books, decks of cards, CD's, DVD's, miniature magnetic travel games...any kind of toy that the Heroes can play with in their down time.

For regular care packages, see my long list of "items for a care package" suggestions on the "what to send" link above. One of the most important thing to remember when shipping is to make sure the box is secure and nothing moves. Picture the gorilla in the UPS ads throwing boxes from a truck and you'll know what I mean. I always have bubble wrap and air pocket pillows on hand. I think it is so awesome that the kids want to adopt Heroes.

They really do need our support, not just at Christmas, but all year round. It has been my experience that although some schools will not write cards for a specific holiday, the teachers will still use the opportunity to write thank you cards & draw pictures .. it is really a great opportunity to teach about the very foundations our country was built on. I hope the kids have fun doing this, and learn a wonderful lesson at the same time!


Thanks a million for your interest & for getting your local schools, communities & children involved. Even if you don't want to make care packages, you can still have the kids make cards or write letters every few months & send them along to your hero .. it costs little, and makes a tremendous difference to our troops .. (or as I refer to as .. OUR HEROES!)


Robin :)