I am incredibly excited to be able to announce a new series that I am very proud of! Bloggers Around the World Supporting the Troops is a Deployment Care Package Program sponsored by JavaCupcake.com and is designed to inspire bloggers to use their creative expertise to put together themed care packages to send to a platoon of deployed soldiers in Afghanistan.
UPDATE: To see photos from the soldiers opening the care package – scroll to the bottom of this page!
Not just any soldiers though… MY SOLDIER. Each care package will go to my husband, SGT David Eves, and his platoon of fellow soldiers. They were recently deployed to the Kandahar Provence of Afghanistan to aid in the pulling out of the US Army as their time there comes to an end. The picture below is of the platoon the night they deployed. My husband is third from the left in the back row. *swoon*
I’ve enlisted the help of some AMAZING friends and bloggers like Amanda from i am baker and Dorothy from Crazy for Crust (just to name a few!) to put together packages for Dave and his platoon! Each month, I’ll be posting a link to their posts, so make sure to check back on the second Tuesday of every month!
Until then… check out the Deployment Care Package Program main page for tips & resources & info on how you can get involved!
Are You Ready For Some Football?!
With football season underway, I thought a football themed care package would be perfect to get things started! The Are You Ready For Some Football?! care package has been packed full of everything the soldiers would need to enjoy their favorite football game while they’re taking a break from missions!
Helping me put together this care package was Mrs. Suzen Merritt (middle), the wife of Fox Troop’s 1st Sergeant, Mrs. Sarah Jacksaon (pictured with me), the wife of 2nd platoon’s PlatoonSergeant and my neighbor Chasity Burger (not pictured).
We decorated the inside top flaps of the box with football themes! The first thing we wanted the soldiers to see was that we really put together this box with a lot of love and wanted them to get excited for what was inside!
- Football themed scrapbooking paper
- Construction paper
- White paper
- Glue/glue sticks
- Foam tshirts (or you can just cutout shapes from paper)
DIY Instructions for Each Flap:
- Are You Ready For Some Football? – Cut football scrapbook paper and brown construction paper to fit the flap. Glue in place. Cut out letters from yellow construction paper to spell out “Are You Ready For Some Football?” and glue down.
- Go Team! - Cut Varsity Letters scrapbook paper & green construction paper to fit the flap and glue in place. Cut out “Go Team” letters from blue construction paper and a megaphone shape from yellow construction paper and glue down. Write “VARSITY” in crayon on the megaphone.
- Swamp Fox! – Cut Stars scrapbook paper and white paper to fit the flap and glue down. Cut helmet shape from red construction paper with silver crayon write your Troop/team name and glue them down. Write names/numbers on the foam tshirt cutouts with a Sharpie and glue down.
- XOXO – Cut Green grass scrapbook paper and green construction paper to fit the flap and glue down. Cut X’s & O’x cutout from black construction paper, footballs cutout from brown construction paper and glue down. Use a pen to draw laces on footballs.
For more decorating ideas for deployment boxes, check out my Care Packages for Soldires Pinterest Board!
Inside the Box!
Inside this hand-decorated box the soldiers will find:
- Everything they need for Nachos! 5 bags of tortilla chips, 5 jars of queso, 5 jars of salsa, 5 cans of beans & 2 cans of green chilies
- A big bag of homemade Chex Mix
- Homemade Cocoa Krispie Treats shaped like footballs – enough for each soldier (see recipe below)
- 2 bags of Banana Chips
Tips for Packaging!
Since this box contained cans, jars and soft items… we needed to use several different techniques for packaging.
- Packing peanuts
- Recycled plastic grocery sacks
- Ziploc bags (snack size & gallon)
- #1: Line packing peanuts on the bottom of the box. Distribute canned items evenly across the bottom on top of the packing peanuts. Try not to let the cans touch each other or the sides of the box.
- #2: Wrap each jar in 2-3 pieces of newspaper then wrap that in a recycled plastic grocery sack. Spread more packing peanuts on top of the canned items then place the jars onto, again… trying not to let them touch each other or the sides of the box. Place more peanuts on top and the sides of the jars making sure to get peanuts between the jars and the walls of the box.
- #3: Pack Chex Mix and Krispie Treats in Ziploc bags then wrap each in a recycled grocery sack. Lay these softer items on top and pack the chips next to them. Try not to place anything on top of the bags of chips.
- #4: Fill the top of the box with packing peanuts until full. Make sure they fill all the edges & corners next to the walls of the box.
Extra Packing & Shipping Tips:
- Use strong packing tape to tape the box closed.
- Use a large sharpie to write the address on the outside of the box.
- Make sure to include your return address.
- Completely fill out a CUSTOMS FORM.
For more tips to successful care packages… download my Shipping Guidelines for sending care packages to Iraq & Afghanistan!
How You Can Help!
Are you interested in supporting a Platoon of soldiers by sending your own care package? There are A LOT of soldiers in need… not just my husband’s platoon… and I can get you connected with them! Simply fill out this form below and I’ll get you all the details!
[contact-form to=’ firstname.lastname@example.org’ subject=’CARE PACKAGE PROGRAM’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Blog Name/URL’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Why would you like to be involved? ‘ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
- 3 cups cocoa rice cereal
- 3 cups rice cereal
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 bag mini marshmallows
- football shaped cookie cutter
- white chocolate (optional)
- Grease a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the mini marshmallows and heat until melted, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the rice cereals and mix with a wooden spoon until completely covered.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan. Using a piece of wax paper coated in cooking spray, press down the mixture evenly in the pan.
- Allow to cool and set for 2 hours.
- Cut the treats into football shapes using the football cutter.
- Melt white chocolate and pipe on lines for the laces. This step is optional.
After about 6 weeks, 2nd platoon finally recieved their care package and were able to take a break long enough to enjoy what was inside!