Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Send a ChristmasGreeting to a Wounded Soldier

Michelle has some wonderful ideas in her post below. I wanted to add this one that's going around in emails these days. However, Michelle forwarded a bulletin from Walter Reed Army Hospital that those cards and packages will not be delivered.

It's a security thing. So, instead of jumping on that email bandwagon all for nothing, why not try one of the links mentioned in that bulletin, which I will include here:
Instead of sending an “Any Wounded Soldier” letter or package to Walter Reed, please consider making a donation to one of the more than 300 nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping our troops and their families listed on the "America Supports You".

Other organizations that offer means of showing your support for our troops or assist wounded servicemembers and their families include:

USO Cares
To Our Soldiers
Red Cross

For individuals without computer access, your local military installation, the local National Guard or military reserve unit in your area may offer the best alternative to show your support to our returning troops and their families. Walter Reed Army Medical Center will continue to receive process and deliver all mail that is addressed to a specific individual.

Finally, Michelle recommended Operation Undergarment. They collect underwear, pajamas, and monetary donations to help wounded soldiers. At their website, they have the bios of the soldiers they are helping.

And just remember, when you lend a hand, say a prayer too! It costs absolutely nothing, and is worth a whole lot.

Helping the families of deployed soldiers

As the holiday season approaches, everyone gets a little busy with cleaning, decorating, baking, and shopping. For the families of deployed soldiers, the additional stress of holiday preparations on top of the frustration and sadness of not having your husband (or wife) and your children's father (or mother) there to celebrate can be overwhelming.

Kristina's Soapbox has a list of ways to help a deployed soldier's family. Although not specifically holiday related, this is the time of year when families could really use an extra hand. Specific to the holidays, I'll add a few suggestions:

  • Do some of their Christmas baking for them (thank you, Margaret, for doing this for me).
  • Put up their Christmas tree and string it with lights (thank you, Tommy).
  • Do outdoor decorations for them (and then help put them away after Christmas is over).
  • Watch their kids so they can go shopping for presents (thank you, Uncle Steve and Aunt Lynne who drove 400 miles just to do this for me).
  • Invite them to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners (but realize they may not be in the mood to share these times with you).
  • Invite them over to celebrate the holidays on a less emotional night (like the weekend before Christmas).
  • Serenade them with Christmas carols on Christmas Eve (thank you, Cincotta family).

If you aren't local, mail them baked goods, give them a gift certificate to a maid service, find a local business that makes meals for people and send them a gift certificate, have your kids draw them cards, call frequently, and keep them in your prayers.