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sending "comfort" box to soldiers in afghanisatan?

(19 Posts)
claricebeansmum Mon 05-Oct-09 13:54:06

Just wondered if any of you lovely MNers who have knowledge of forces could tell me how we can go about sending something out to soldiers at Christmas? Rather than doing the usual shoe boxes for kids at Christmas we wanted to do something different but I understand you can't just send something to "A Soldier, Afghanistan". My googling hasn't got me very far...

Thank you!

moodlumthehoodlum Mon 05-Oct-09 13:55:08

I think you can do it through sainsburys? Or even, ask at the Post Office?

jcscot Mon 05-Oct-09 16:07:07

The problem with sending random boxes at Christmas time is that it clogs up the (somewhat creaky) BFPO system, delaying other boxes/parcels/letters from friends and family.

What you could do is contact your nearest Army recruitment office and they would be able to point you in the right direction.

claricebeansmum Mon 05-Oct-09 16:08:43

jscot - but are there some soldiers who might not get anything? I thought they all were after soap, wet wipes, socks and chocolate?! I am willing to send now ahead of Christmas rush!

jcscot Mon 05-Oct-09 16:09:15

Here's an MOD-endorsed campaign that sounds like it might be just the sort of thing you're looking for.

jcscot Mon 05-Oct-09 16:11:29

I thought they all were after soap, wet wipes, socks and chocolate?! I am willing to send now ahead of Christmas rush!

Chocolate is no good as it doesn't travel to Afghanistan well (so I've been told by my husband who's out there right now).

I think you ought to contact the campaign linked above. They make sure that the parcels go to those soldiers who - as you rightly point out - may not got anything else, as well as ensuring that the right sort of things go in to the boxes (and that it doesn't clog up the system!).

claricebeansmum Mon 05-Oct-09 16:12:29

jscot - you are a star - that is exactly what I was after! The power of MN grin

Off to make my lists...

jcscot Mon 05-Oct-09 16:13:51

Glad to be of help.

Saltire Mon 05-Oct-09 16:14:29

Sorry to be pedantic here, but actually (as last weeks tragic death show) it's not just soldiers out there. RAF,Royal Marines and Navy are too grin. Maybe addressing it to a "serviceman/woman would be better

jcscot Mon 05-Oct-09 16:23:38

Saltire's right - ther are people from all Services out there. Although the campign I linked to is called Support Our Soldiers, they do distribute to personnel from all three Services.

"*Who are the parcels are sent to?*
Parcels are sent primarily to those serving in Afghanistan but we also cover other overseas operational areas including Iraq, Falkland Islands, Bosnia, Kosovo and Cyprus.

We do our best to cover as many units/regiments as possible, across all Services. Those who take receipt of the packages know that they're to be distributed, and wherever possible that they should go to those who don't have family or don't receive packages/mail on a regular basis. We also send to the Padres or WOs who again distribute to those most in need of cheer."

They also state on their website that mail/parcels addressed to "A Soldier/Sailor/Airman, Afghanistan" will not be accepted by the PO.

luciemule Mon 19-Oct-09 20:28:41

I was really upset last Christmas when DH didn't get our gifts (pictures from the kids that they drew) and photos, fave car mags etc by xmas day. They were late in getting there, even though we posted them really early. The system was really clogged up with parcels from non-family.

The guys are able to buy smellies, chocolate etc; everything they need really.

My DH did say that perhaps a christmas card or e-bluey would be a better idea and then the parcels that families send would be more likley to reach them in time. He wasn't being ungrateful but a lot of fmailies were upset that their childrens' gifts weren't received on time.

scaryteacher Mon 19-Oct-09 21:38:51

They may be able to buy them, but nice to have them as a pressie, and know that you're thought of. Will be asking db for a list.

I'll be sending this year, and luckily, as it's BFPO to BFPO avoiding the postal strikes!

scottishmummy Mon 19-Oct-09 21:50:44

i do this and send a male and female parcel.wnat personnel to know their efforts are valued and people think of them far way from loved ones and home

AngelaCarleen Wed 04-Nov-09 09:19:10

Some chocolate does travel well to afghanistan, the melt in your mouth not in your hand variety. I sent about a packet a week out when my husband was there this summer (in temp of 50 degrees plus) smile.
Also jelly sweeties and boiled sweets.

ThePhantomPlotter Wed 04-Nov-09 11:19:18

Marmite goes down well too.

FlappyTheBat Wed 04-Nov-09 11:23:05

Have sent dh is the past, hot chocolate, coffee, haribo, marmite, branston pickle - his request!!

FourArms Wed 04-Nov-09 11:28:15

BFPO stuff is handled seperately from Royal Mail stuff, so hopefully won't get stuck in the postal strike!

I know lots of blokes on a hot and smelly submarine who'd be grateful for parcels (having just packed 4 for my DH), so sure these blokes would be too. But as somebody said earlier, send it via the correct channels.

I'm sending (to my DH)

wine gums
crisps (pretzels/pringles)
new socks, pants & white t-shirts
mini toiletries (holiday ones)
dried fruit

From the BFPO website

Unsolicited Mail
Q. Can welfare parcels (unsolicited mail) be sent to troops serving on Op Telic and Op Herrick?

A. No, please be advised that an item of mail up to the maximum weight of 2Kgs can be sent to named personnel only. Due to the surge of mail during the freepost period to these operational areas BFPO does not wish to delay personal mail to loved ones by accepting mail to unnamed personnel.

Please telephone the BFPO Enquiries team for further information.

Q. Why is mail restriced to named individuals?

A. While Royal Mail and BFPO recognises the desire of individuals to support troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, the freepost scheme is specifically intended to support the families and friends of servicemen and women serving on entitled operations only. Well wishers remain able to send goodwill messages to these theatres via other BFPO services including the use of EBluey and the Bulletin Board.

bantom Wed 04-Nov-09 21:10:56

Can I just add that you put your details on the back. My husband (who is about to go back out) received a parcel but because it wasn't identified as who is was from he wasn't allowed to open it.

scaryteacher Wed 04-Nov-09 22:29:13

Can I direct people to the topic earlier on about BFPO and the postal strike? If the strike is on, then you have to physically take the letter/parcel to the PO and point out that it is BFPO mail, and it will not go normal post but arrangements will be made for it to get to the BFPO in London.

You're kind Four Arms - mine went off with a patrol cake and that was it; or a small Christmas present the year they got bounced Christmas Eve.

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