Posts tagged: USPS customs form

Free supplies for a military care package

By , May 10, 2012 1:40 pm

I’m sure the Post Office has been doing this forever, but here is info I just pulled off their website to receive free supplies for a care package:

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:

  1. Choose your language (“1” is English, “2” is Spanish).
  2. Choose option 1 (it states it is for Express Mail service, Priority Mail or Global Express Guaranteed).
  3. When you reach a live agent, request “CAREKIT04.”
  4. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery.

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

 

Trail mix and books can be heavy to ship so take advantage of sending your items in a flat rate box.  I just sent one to a friend in Afghanistan and noticed the post office discounts the postage for a large priority box when sending a care package.  Check out my care package post for additional info.  Care packages rock when you’re deployed so please send one off today!

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How to send a military care package

By , July 7, 2010 9:01 pm

Because I loved receiving mail while deployed, I try to send a couple military care packages off every year.  If you’ve never sent a package, there are a few key things you should know.  This list is for those military care package newbies.

1.  Who wants a military care package?  If you don’t have someone specific you’d like to send a package, check out these sites and find a military member that would love to receive a little gratitude in the mail.

Any Soldier- Created by a soldier.  They provide the mailing address, you provide the package
Operation Gratitude- Send in donations and they send off the package
Troop Care Pack- Send pre-packed items to soldiers

2.  What do I send?  As I detailed in my Christmas care package post, I loved getting:

Food: Drink mixes, beef jerky, trail mix, protein bars, gum, chocolate (Oct-Mar only or it melts)

Other stuff: Old magazines (no pornography please), quality ear plugs, bungee cords, chapstick, hotel-size hygiene products, baby wipes (in small containers), fly swatters or strips

Find out if your soldier is in the middle of nowhere or on a Forward Operating Base (FOB) and design the package around the service member’s current mission.

READ THIS:  Jot down everything you’re packing in the box before you seal it up as you’ll need that list for the next step.

3.  What are the postal requirements?  This is the only not so fun thing about sending care packages… custom forms.  Although letters don’t require a customs form, you’ll need one for a care package.  Hopefully, after viewing this guide, it will be easy-schmeasy.

Here’s a great outline for a customs form that I found:

Here’s my example form for my fictional Private Joe Snuffy care package (Nope, I never stay in those little hash marks with my letters and, yes, I always mix up the first name, last name part.)

Take a couple of these forms the next time you’re picking up stamps or running an errand by the post office and fill this baby out at home.  If you’re like me and you always mess up the first one (case in point above), it will be a lot easier to do it again without angry peeps in line behind you.  Also note that last checked box as it sends the package back to you if your service member moved or came home before the box arrived.

Oh, and just so you know, sending a box “Priority” or “Overnight” only means quick delivery to the port in the United States.  Once it gets into the military mail system, there is no such thing as priority.

4.  When do I send a package?  NOW!  O.K., if you can’t send one right this second, think about sending one this summer.  There really isn’t anything better than receiving mail when you’re deployed.  Packages need at least two weeks to arrive at their destination so plan ahead for holidays, especially Christmas.

Don’t think you have time to send a care package right now?  Send a service member a thoughtful email through USO (United Service Organization).  It only takes a few seconds to express your gratitude for our heroes.

Comment if you have additional questions or tips.  Happy packing!

*** UPDATE: For security reasons, leave the rank off the package and customs form and instead just write the soldier’s first and last name. ***

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