With so many of our courageous armed forces serving overseas (and right here in America) today, it's a great idea to send a care package to them.
You can include toiletries, candy, socks, or anything you think they might like or needs, but a great way to put a smile on a soldier's face is to send a cookie gift basket care package!
You don't have to know a soldier personally to brighten their day. Below I show you how to get shipping information for soldiers who would love to receive a care package to let them know someone's thinking of them!
You can bake them yourself or send store bought cookies. Just consider the fact that the cookies will be jostled around countless times in the mail. So select a bar cookie or other stable cookie that won't crush as easily.
You can make chocolate chip bar cookies using the recipe on the Nestle Toll House Morsels package (shown below). Or you can search your favorite cook book for different recipes for bar cookies that are able to take the bouncing.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.
Many people hesitate to send a cookie box to the soldiers because they don't know how. They think it's hard or that they will do it wrong and it won't get there. It's actually very easy to send a care package to our armed forces. Here's how:
Go to AnySoldier.com and you will see how easy it is. You select the branch of the service you'd like to send to from Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard. Then, you will find a list of soldiers who you can send packages to. You can sort the list by state that the soldier is from, how many requests have been made for that soldier's name, the date the soldier signed up, where he or she is stationed and more. It's up to you. Select your soldier's name and a screen will show what he or she has requested, or you can send any cookies you like.
Next, you'll enter your address on a form that pops up. The site will then send you an email with the soldier's contact information. You can request up to three names a day.
Once you have selected your cookies, select your packaging. Using current newspapers is a great idea because the soldier can then read them after he unpacks the cookies. You can also use unbuttered popcorn as packing material as it will cushion the cookies. Bubble wrap works as well.
Your box should be sturdy and you should tape it securely. Once the box is closed, you shouldn't really hear much move around when you lightly shake the box. It's better to choose a bigger box with more packaging.
When your box is all packed, clearly write the full name and address of the soldier including the anysoldier.com site name. When you get to the post office, you will need to fill out a simple customs form. The clerk will give you the right form when you tell her you're shipping to a soldier.
Fill it out with the address of the soldier and your name. Where it asks for the contents you will put "cookies." Where it asks for the value, you can put "$0."
It's as simple as that. Just hand your box to the post office clerk and pay the shipping. It's not as expensive as you might think to ship overseas. And what you're doing is brightening the day of a soldier (and their regiment if he or she will share!). Send a bunch of boxes to different soldiers if you like or send to the same soldier each time. It's up to you.
Image by expertinfantry on Flickr