Media Archive

How to support our troops

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 13, March 26, 2003

Due to heightened security measures, letters and packages can no longer be sent directly to service members. Mail must be forwarded through the United Service Organization (USO) or through the American Red Cross, Operation USO Care Package allows individuals to financially support care packages that will be delivered to service members en route overseas, according to the USO Web site ( A contribution of $25 will purchase a care package.

These care packages help the USO bring a touch of home to our men and women in uniform," said Edward A. Powell, president and CEO of USO World Headquarters.

The care packages contain an assortment of items specifically requested by the military, such as prepaid international calling cards, disposable cameras, toiletries and sunscreen.

Donations can besent to : USO World Headquarters, PO Box 70264, Washington, DC 20024.

Joyce Henckler, executive director with the Pine Tree chapter of the American Red Cross, said that her organization is collecting donations of goods and money for the cause.

However, some items are not allowed to be sent, she said. The Red Cross is accepting donations of the following items to be packed and sent on to troops : hard candy, chocolate bars, microwave popcorn,peanuts, pretzels, snack foods, drink mlxes, sugar, creamer, coffee, hot chocolate, cider, tea, hand sanitizers, sunglasses,greeting cards, videos, CDs, DVDs, books and puzzles.

"We're encouraging people to look at the list on the Web (,'" Henckler said. 'There are only some items that can be shipped; if an item isn't on the list, it can't be accepted."

Boxes up to a certain size will be accepted; and there are special packaging requirements. Call the Red Cross at 941 -2903 for details.

Henckler said the Red Cross is also looking for monetary donations to ship the parcels via the U.S. Postal Service. Any financial contributions above and beyond the cost of shipping, she said, goes to the national effort to support the troops.

The Red Cross also is willing to send letters and messages to the troops.

Donations can be dropped off or mailed to the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross, 33 Mildred Ave., Bangor, ME 04401. Make sure to write the words: " For the Troops."

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.