Since today is Day of the Deployed, it's the perfect time to think about sending care packages, greeting cards and warm wishes to those deployed and stationed overseas. The holidays may seem like a long way off, but they're almost around the corner when you take Post Office mailing deadlines into account.
Day of the Deployed was started by Soldiers' Angels to acknowledge the sacrifices of deployed soldiers and show support for service members and their families. If you're looking for a meaningful way to spend the day, consider putting together a card or care package in time for the USPS deadlines.
2016 Mailing Deadlines
Making sure your care packages arrive in time for the holidays means you have to plan ahead. If you're using the USPS, be prepared to ship as early as November 7. Follow these guidelines to make sure your packages arrive at APO/FPO/DPO addresses on time:
- USPS Retail Ground: Nov. 7
- Space Available Mail (SAM): Nov. 25
- Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): Dec. 2
- Priority Mail: Dec. 9
- First Class Mail for cards and letters: Dec. 2 for APO/FPO/DPO AE zip code 093; Dec. 9 for all other APO/FPO/DPO AE zip codes
- Priority Mail Express Military Service (PMEMS): Dec. 16 for all APO/FPO/DPO AE zip codes except 093 (PMEMS is not available for zip code 093)
Care Package Tips
If you plan on assembling a care package in a Priority Mail box, luckily you have until Dec. 9 to get it in the mail. This is a very popular shipping option for military care packages because you can send almost anything for a flat rate as long as the box weighs less than 70 pounds.
Here are some practical tips for putting together a military care package:
- Check limitations on what can and can't be sent overseas before you shop. This will vary based on location. Aerosol cans, alcohol, tobacco, perishable foods and flammable items are just a few examples of things you shouldn't ship.
- It might not look as nice, but sealing everything in plastic bags can protect items from damage. This is especially important if you pack items that might crumble, leak or spill.
- Don't overstuff. Cramming the box full might cause it to burst open in transit.
- Attach a shipping label to the outside, but be sure to include a second label inside the box in case the outer label is damaged beyond recognition.
- Use a lot of tape. Secure the top and bottom of the box, but don't forget the side seams as well.
- Fill out the necessary customs forms before shipping.
Show Veterans You Care By Donating A Car
If you don't have someone to send a care package to this winter, you can still show veterans that you care here at home. Donating an unwanted car, truck, boat, RV, camper or motorcycle to Vehicles For Veterans is a great way to support disabled and other veteran programs that strengthen vets in your community. The proceeds of your vehicle donation will help fund programs that help American veterans.
If you have a car to donate, give us a call at 1-855-811-4838 or fill out an online car donation form. Your car will be picked up for free and you'll receive a tax deduction. You can give back to veterans just by donating a car today!