Care Packages

Hello. I've been looking up information about care packages and have been in contact with SOS and the Army Benevolent Fund. The former have a service where I can make a donation to cover the cost of a package and they make it up and send it through the BFPO. The latter provided me with a name and contact address for The Rifles in Kajaki and some advice on how to put it together myself.

I've also decided to DIY the package because once I'd had the idea about a week ago, I found myself wandering around the house wondering what I'd want to find in such a thing. So I've got a couple of questions about the suitability of certain items. I've already read the other posts on this forum but these things weren't mentioned.

- Paperback books
The Army Benevolent Fund sent some guidance on the type of items and one of their points was to avoid anything with a glued spine because the glue melts in the 40 degree + heat! What's the final word on this?

- Haribo
Same problem. Apparently it melts into a solid block. Is this a problem or will they just bite lumps out of it?

- Chocolate
40 degrees celcius. 'nuff said.

- Batteries
Do they carry any battery powered toys like ipods speakers and so on when they're on the front?

I might come back and add to this list as things occur. A brief list of ideas so far is below:

- baby wipes (concerned about the weight, though. Pack of 80 feels quite weighty)
- cup a soup sachets/stock cubes (are these kind of things not available?)
- boiled sweets (perhaps less inclined to melt?)
- mints (safer bet in those temps?)
- razor blades
- drugs (paracetamol, maybe a packet of 200mg ibuprofen - I know that's what I'd need if I had to carry 80lbs around all day)
- small bottle sun screen

One other thing. I've debated whether it's best to just donate to an organisation who'll do it for you, but in a sense that seems like an empty gesture. Making the donation would last about 30 seconds and then I'd forget about it once my card was back in my wallet.

Am I just embarking on an ego trip by doing it myself? I'm inclined to think 'who cares so long as it does someone somewhere some good.' But would the various charities and organisations that use donations to make up packages on the publics behalf do a better job?

Beware of BFPO's unsolicited mail policy, which says something like this:

Only relatives and friends in the UK and at BFPO addresses worldwide may send packets to named Service personnel and MOD deployed civilians in authorised operational theatres.

Its something to do with limited space available on AT and SH in theatre and the fact that it is impossible to differentiate between a letter from granny/wife/kids etc (which should be a highest priority) and a parcel from a random well-wisher (which is gratefully received of course but not quite as important, if you get my meaning). By impossible I mean; BFPO are legally obliged to treat all items that have postage applied the same (note that the 'free' service is actually paid for (ie, has postage applied), just not by the sender).

Don't let me put you off though. Give someone at BFPO a call to discuss; numbers are on the website.

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