Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Resources for Deployed Families

I'm making a list of resources that will make my families lives easier while our husband/father is deployed. Please tell me about anything you know of or did to help with the time away so I can add it to this page!

For the Family:

Books for children

Online Resource for children

Operation Kid Comfort - free quilt with photos

United Through Reading - free dvd of member reading to child

Dog Tags for Kids

Daddy Dolls

Hugs to Go Dolls

Deployment Dolls

Flat Daddies

I made my own version of flat daddy to play on flat stanley http://www.flatstanley.com/about and we take him everywhere with us and take pics of him and then upload them into an Adventures of Flat Daddy album.  To make them I develop a 5x7 photo of him and then cut it out and laminate it.  I also did this with a photo of our kids and gave it to him so he could take pics with them while he was in port.

Free welcome home banners

Free phone cards for deployed members

Build a Bear - military clothing, they also have recordable boxes for inside the bear

Sesame Street - videos about deployment
*a free copy of the dvd can be ordered off of militaryonesource.com

Operation Love Reunited - free photo sessions

Yellow Ribbon Photographers - free photography

Military T-shirts (use tabs on left to view several different types)

Project Evergreen - free lawn care

Birthday Cake to deployed members

Deployment Jar / Kiss from Daddy Jar
Fill a jar with hershey kisses for each day member will be gone. Eat a kiss each day and watch the amount of kisses get lower and lower.

Deployment paper chain
Make a paper chain, add a chain for every day the member is gone, or a chain for every week. Cut one off each day/week.

We also made our sailor a chain so he could countdown the weeks with us.  I made his out of yarn and crocheted the links but if you can't crochet you can easily just tie pieces of yarn together.  I used yarn because it doesn't take up much room and can be folded and tucked away without getting ruined, unlike the paper chain.

k7.net - a web based voicemail service FREE! Sign up and call your hubby and leave him voicemails several times a day. He can check these voicemails through his email or the k7 website.

Track where the member is on a map hung up on your wall. Add a counter with it with a count down of how many days/weeks/months until they come home.

Keep a blog. Update it daily with photos and daily events.

Free package supplies:

Military Care Package Mailing Kit

Since Priority Mail service supplies are the packaging of choice for families preparing care packages for service members overseas, the USPS has created a "Mili-kit" based on the items most frequently requested by the military.

The kit contains:
Three (3) each of flat rate boxes O-FRB1 and O-FRB2
Two (2) each of Cube boxes OBOX7
Address labels - Label # 228 8 each
Address labels - Label # 106-A 1 each
Customs FORM 2976-A 8 EA.
Customs FORM 2976-E 8 EA.

The kit may be requested by calling 1-800-610-8734 (Packing Supply) and:
Choose your language (“1” is English, “2” is Spanish).
Choose option 1 (it states it is for Express Mail service, Priority Mail or Global Express Guaranteed).
When you reach a live agent, request “CAREKIT04.”
Please allow 7-10 days for delivery.

Note: These are free supplies, postage must be affixed.

Additionally, you can find guidelines for packing, addressing, and shipping items to U.S. troops athttps://www.usps.com/ship/apo-fpo-guidelines.htm

You can also order flat rate boxes online to be shipped to your house for free (I always get the 10 pack of large flat rate boxes)

Visual for filling out Customs Form:

Treat the Troops - free cookies to troops

Operation Military Pride - free care packages

Coloring pages for children of deployed parents

Article about preschoolers and deployment

Scion Military Care Package

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