A friend of mine just reminded me of a great organization called Operation Support Our Troops-Illinois.
Founded in 2003 by Debi Rickert, OSOTIL sends out care packages to our troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. They follow Department of Defense security standards and guidelines. Most of the items they send are not available through the military supply system and are difficult to find locally.
Just to give you an idea, the current list of most desired items includes Canned Fruit, Crackers, Beef Jerky/Slim Jims, Nuts, Shaving Cream, Deodorant, Hand lotion, Body wash, Foot Powder, Socks, Cold drink mix, Gatorade, Coffee, Unscented baby wipes, Pringles, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Bug Spray, Fly Strips, Fly swatters, and Sunscreen.
That’s just the top ten list. They accept a lot of other stuff as well.
OSOTIL has drop-off locations for goods all over Illinois, or you can just send them money using PayPal to help cover their $2400/month shipping bill. Details for all of this are available on their home page.
If you’re not from Illinois, then check out the national parent organization, Operation Support Our Troops