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Just a reminder, for those of your who have been waiting for information on the Support A Soldier Program, we have a new contact for this fall stationed in Bagram, Afghanistan.  Please email me directly for the contact name and address.  Instructions for shipping are below.
  Make sure to mark on the label what type of box it is and if it intended for a male or female if applicable. 

What to Send:   Always include personal cards and banners showing your thanks and support.  Regardless of what else is in the box, these are the items the soldiers treasure the most.  I have been told that pictures of the girls are especially appreciated as they can see who is sending them the package.  You can also have the girls design banners and other artwork that can be hung on the walls of the tents or common areas.  Bright, colorful, happy images are best.

The easiest way to ship packages is to use the flat rate Priority Mail boxes available at the post office.  This way you always know what the shipping is regardless of how much you can pack in the box.  There is a discount for shipping to APO/FPO addresses.   If you are not sure what items to send, we have listed several ideas below.
Requested Items: For items, our team would appreciate some healthy foods. This list is kind of long so please feel free to send some here and there:
FOOD –trail mix packs (e.g., dried fruit/nuts/raisins/chocolate chips) -100-calorie snack packs (Chex mix, crackers, pretzels, cookies) -Fig Newtons -cereal (e.g., Cheerios, Honey-nut Cheerios, frosted mini-wheats) – trial-size cups work great -Cup O’noodles soup (e.g., chicken noodle, vegetable, tomato) -dried granola (e.g., peanut butter) in the Natural Foods Aisle of most grocery stores -Chips (e.g., Doritos, Tostitos, Sun Chips, Lay’s Baked Chips) – snack packs would be great -Unsalted peanuts, nuts -Raisins (boxes) -Cereal bars (e.g., blueberry, strawberry) -chewy granola bars (e.g., chocolate chip, peanut butter) (request a couple of boxes (3 total) with all the same items to ship to my teams in the field)
NON-EDIBLES -Air fresheners (non-aerosol) -Moist wipes (flushable) -Baby wipes (small packs) -Patriotic stickers of U.S. flags and symbols (for cards/letters) -Holiday stickers for Christmas/Hanukkah (for cards/letters) -Trial size shower wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion..

Support A Soldier Rules:

1.  Only postive messages are allowed to be placed in the boxes.  All letters and cards must be loose or in unsealed envelopes and leaders must read all letters that go in their box to make sure there is nothing hateful or negative.  This includes any negative religious messages such as telling the soldiers that unless they recieve Jesus, they will go to hell.  Even if this is your belief, and you mean well, it is a disturbing message for men and women who face death every day and they do not need the extra stress.  Absolutely no messages disrespecting other religions will be tolerated.  Messages such as “God Loves You” or “We are praying for you” are acceptable.
2.  No chocolate or soft baked good that can spoil such as muffins should be sent after March 30 as it is the hot season and they will melt or mold.
3.  If you send “cool ties” for the soldiers to wear, make sure they are 100% cotton fabric and are in camoflauge colors as otherwise they cannot wear them on patrol.  (These are the polymer filled ties that get soaked in water and tied around your neck.  You can also make them as small flat circles that can fit inside a helmet).    Directions for making cool ties can be found here:  http://www.watersorb.com/polymer_cool_neck_bands.htm
4.  Most Army bases in Iraq and Afghanistan now have well-stocked provisions at the AAFES stores. The following items are easily obtained, so send only if a favorite brand is unavailable:
  • Cookies, candies, snack foods and beverages
  • Toiletries & personal hygiene products
  • Small electrical appliances
  • Personal electronic products and batteries
  • CDs, DVDs, magazines, books

 

5.  Please do NOT send the following items to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan. Packages are scanned and these items WILL be confiscated:

  • Alcohol and alcohol-production products and ingredients (R, R1)
  • Fruits, live plants and animals (M)
  • Pork and pork by-products (H1)
  • Pornographic and sexual materials (including nudes and semi-nudes) (E2)
  • Obscene materials and horror comics (C1)
  • Non-authorized political materials (E2)
  • Religious materials contrary to Islam in bulk quantities (E2)
  • Firearms and ammunition (F)
  • Cash, coins, securities or precious metals in their raw state (A)
  • Hazardous, flammable, toxic and radioactive substancesTip: Don’t use packing boxes that are labelled with a prohibited substance.

6.  Use common sense and realize that packages can be subjected to high heat and bouncing around. Use Ziploc bags and lots of padding where applicable.    If there is any chance that it might leak, put it in a ziplock bag! (two is even better!)

Thank you so much for showing your support  for our soldiers and participating in this program.
Sincerely,
Kerry Cordy Frontier Girls Clubs www.frontiergirlsclubs.com

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Coming this September to Frontier Girls across the country is the new Frontier News, a monthly newsletter to keep our members up to date on the happenings within Frontier Girls. The newsletter will include a new badge of the month offered at a 10% discount, and will include ideas and activities for completing the badge. Also included will be:

Contests
Girl of the Month
Classifieds (to sell or find used uniform pieces, craft supplies, camping equipment, etc. – free of charge for our members)
Community Service Ideas
Events
and more.

If you have something you would like posted in the Frontier News, please email me at kerry@frontiergirls.com

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The first decade of 2010 is past.  As we embark on yet another new year, and new decade, I challenge all Frontier Girls to make a difference in your community this year.  If you have not yet earned a Make  a Difference award, this is the year to do it.  Regardless of your age, there is always something you can do to make your community a better place to live.  Make a commitment to uncovering a solution to a problem in your area.

With the current economic situation, there are more and more animals being turned loose to become strays.  You could start an information campaign addressing the problem and distribute fliers to schools and storefronts.  Work with your local humane society to find out what else you can do such as organizing a pet food drive.

Many educational and fun places to visit in your community, such as zoos and museums, are non-profit organizations.  They are very expensive to run, and their costs are not covered by admission fees.  Without donations and volunteers, they would be unable to survive.  Even if you are not old enough to volunteer at the location itself, you can always help hand out fliers,  further a public relation campaign, or hold a fundraiser.

If there is a dangerous intersection in your community that needs a street light, stop sign, or cross walk, start a petition to obtain one.  When you have collected enough signatures, present your petition to your city officials.  Maybe there are bushes or trees that make it difficult to see oncoming traffic.  If they are on private property, offer to help trim them.  If they are on public land, contact your city officials with a request that they be trimmed.

Maybe you live in an area that could use some beautification.  You could write a proposal for a Neighborhood Beautification Week and get your mayor to sign it.  Then make fliers to post around town and organize volunteers to help out neighbors who may not be able to clean up their own yards.  Hold a fundraiser to purchase paint and supplies, or have them donated, and coordinate volunteers to help senior citizens, low-income residents, or people with special needs clean up their homes.

Many stores keep unhealthy snacks, such as candy bars, up by the front counter, contributing to our society’s poor nutritional habits and obesity problem.  Work with store owners to find tasty, more nutritional items, that can be offered in place of, or at least next to, the unhealthy options.  Make fliers for your community promoting healthier eating habits.

There are thousands of things you can do for your community.  Find something you love, and then look through your community to find a way you can use your passion to help others.  If you love animals, check with the local animal shelters or pet stores to see how you and your friends can help.  If you love history, talk to local museums.  Maybe gardening is your thing.  If so, check with local parks, schools and churches to see who needs help with planting or weeding.  If you love painting, maybe you can organize a community mural.  Use your imagination to rise to the challenge and make your community a better place to live.

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Every year my Frontier Girls troop rings bells for Salvation Army.  It is probably one of the easiest and most fun community service projects we perform.  The Salvation Army is one of the most well known and active charities in the U.S., as well as  around the world.  Just a few of the services they perform are missing persons, disaster relief, drug and alchohol rehabilitation, fighting human trafficking, youth camps, Christmas charities, and elderly services. 

This year I had so many girls wish to participate that we had to split into two groups.  The Otters and Dolphins (k-5 grades) rang bells last week in freezing cold temperatures while singing Christmas carols and handing out candy canes.  For us out here in the California Valley, being out in the low 30’s was quite a shock, but the girls were troopers and didn’t complain.  This week the Butterflies and Eagles (6-12 grades) came out in the rain for their turn.  With hot chocolate to finish off the evenings, everyone went home feeling warm in both body and spirit.

If you are looking for an easy way to help others this holiday season, consider spending a little of your time ringing bells for this worthy charity.  This year they have made it easier then ever.  Not only can you ring bells in the traditional way, like we did, but they have added programs to ring bells via the internet as well.  If you visit www.salvationarmy.org, you can set up your own virtual red bucket to email to family and friends.  To make it even more fun, if you have an iphone, you can download a bell ringing app and ring bells via your phone as well. 

Salvation Army

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