What I did:
There are 300 female soldiers from Fort Lewis, Washington stationed in Afghanistan and helping front line soldiers deal with combat stress. Not only are they lacking the luxuries we women have grown accustomed to (like body wash), but they are only supplied with sanitary pads for “that time of the month”. Seriously. In the desert.
Finding time to volunteer for those in need was difficult this week. Why? Because I was busy in my “mom” volunteering role.
I chaperoned 4th graders on a field trip to Mount St. Helens.
I coordinated volunteers for our school book fair.
My co-leader and I spent the better part of a day with our Girl Scout troop at John’s Incredible Pizza Company for our end of the year party.
While all of these activities are completely worthwhile, I still didn’t feel they fit within the rules I set for my “Nature of a Servant” experiment this year.
Thank goodness I read this blog post from Frugal Living Northwest! In it, the story told about the women in a war helping soldiers deal with Combat Stress Control. Angela, the website’s founder, encouraged blog readers to send care packages to these women making sure to include the most requested item: tampons.
I found my way to serve this week.
I stopped at Fred Meyer for most supplies and supplemented with things I already had at home. In a Large Flat Rate Priority Mail Box I packed:
- Baby Wipes (For freshening up between showers. Not only do they have to use pads, they don’t even get daily showers.)
- Body Wash
- Body Lotion
- Mint, Gum, Hard Candy
- Beef Jerky, Sunflower seeds
- Chapstick with SPF
- Starbucks Via & Crystal Light drink mix
- Toothpaste & floss
- A letter thanking the soldier for all she is doing
I tried to fill out the customs form online, but the website kept crashing on me. So I filled one out by hand. I taped up the box and drove to my local postal contract center. Only when I arrived, I found this sign:
Ugh. The kind postal worker told me I could go to a main Post Office, or I could try to print the forms from a different website. I opted to go home and try the online route again.
This time, the USPS website worked just fine. I completed my online form, returned to the grocery store postal outlet, and the same employee helped me send the box.
I told her about the feminine napkin dilemma. She agreed sending this package was a top priority.
How to Help:
You, too, can send a care package to one of these admirable women. Again, read this Post from Frugal Living NW to get specifics. If you decide to take part, leave a comment below and share that you are participating!
I hope in some small way, I can serve the women who serve our country in a war they may or may not agree with. They don’t get to plop down on a couch, flipping through channels at the end of the day. Or grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s from the freezer. Or ask their husbands, “Please can you get the kids/make dinner/do the dishes/let me lie in bed? ‘Cause I have cramps.”
The least I can do is supply a sister in Afghanistan with some Starbucks, some tampons, and an Oprah mag.