Inauguration Party Décor Ideas

Front of the United States White HouseIt comes around every four years: the presidential inauguration. If you’re just an average citizen who doesn’t have an inaugural ball ticket in hand, you can still enjoy the evening’s festivities with your own inauguration party. By celebrating at home with the historical inauguration playing in the background, your family and friends can have a fun and history-filled evening. Continue reading

The History of the Christian Flag

The Christian flag is regularly displayed outside of buildings and churches, and in classrooms, but few realize its important history and significance dating back to hundreds of years ago. The flag is typically seen and used in Latin America, North America, and Africa, and it represents Christianity and its community and values. Continue reading

State Spotlight: California

Golden Gate Bridge

For most of its history, California has been a dream that people chase looking for an opportunity at a new life in one form or another.  People came to the territory of California in a push for freedom and expansion, then for gold, and finally fame. Today, California offers vast opportunities for those seeking a new start and different dreams for people to follow.  But, first, it started with a flag, a group of people looking for a change, and the dream of new land. Continue reading

Flag of the President of the United States

Since the birth of our great nation, the American flag has gone through many changes and designs and, though the first president was elected in 1789, there wasn’t an official flag for the Commander in Chief until 1882. Congress then declared that the president was the commander of the army and navy and, with this designation, they needed flags to denote the president’s presence. Continue reading

Celebrating Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross with George Washington and First Flag

There is a fine line between history and legend because there is usually a granule or two of truth within the lore. Not to mention, history is only fact in the eyes of the person who wrote it.  Over 240 years ago, we know a woman named Betsy Ross lived in colonial Pennsylvania. Did she stitch the first American flag? Here is what legend and history tell us: Continue reading

The Flag of the United States Air Force

US Air Force Flag

The United States Air Force has its origins in the Army Signal Corps, founded as a division in 1907 to pursue aeronautical endeavors. Initially, this mostly meant balloons for reconnaissance purposes, as had been developed during the Civil War, but, by 1914, they had a full aviation division. The progress after that was not spectacular, and the planes the U.S. could field during World War I were quite inferior to the ones that had been developed on the European continent. Continue reading

Soldier Care Packages for the Holidays

The season of giving is approaching.  This year, wouldn’t it be nice to have a focus for your charity instead of just giving random pockets full of change?  By choosing to donate to items for care packages, you can make one or more soldiers’ holiday brighter.

If you don’t know anyone in the service or families of those serving, it can be difficult knowing what to give or where to send your packages.  There are websites that can help you choose to whom to send your packages.  You should look into the websites to ensure who will receive your donations.

Sites like OperationCarePackages.org have many different ideas and options for donation.  There are options to send to veterans, those in service, wounded soldiers, and soldiers’ families, as well.  Operation Gratitude has several different donations that you can participate in, including a Halloween candy drive!  You can send packages of loose candy your family has collected, as well as unopened packages of toothbrushes and floss.  They ask that you ship these items out before November 15th.

soldier care package

For those who can’t spare a lot, they ask for Christmas cards, and, from children who aren’t comfortable with writing in cards, they ask for drawings. The site even has pages to print and color in, as well as some crafts that you can do to send them. Sending these personal messages of gratitude means a lot. Those interested in letter writing can even do so year round.

OperationCarePackages.org is just one of the sites that accept donations for care packages. For holiday donations or one-time donations or letters, Adoptaussoldier.org has a program as well as all-year programs for those who are willing and able to do so. There are also other sites that you can look at with ideas on what soldiers and wounded soldiers would like to be sent to them.

To figure out what to send in your package, these sites have a requested list, with some things that you may not think of; for instance, postage.  It is not cheap to send packages to those abroad or across the country. While people are kind enough to send items, money is needed to ship them to the soldiers. The average shipping cost is $18 to ensure that these boxes will be sent out.  Sending stamps or a check for postage will help all those donations get to the people they were  intended for.

santa claus ornament

If you do want to create a care package for a soldier, there are many things to think about.  Sending cards or other games can brighten a soldier’s day. While they may not have a lot of free time, entertainment can be a big part these peoples’ lives; a pack of cards is easily stored and quickly packed.

Depending on where they are stationed, sending movies for them to watch can be a welcome distraction for them. Without a specific list of items, it can be hard to know what movies to send but, if you stick to comedies or romances, you should be safe. There are a few stores with discounted bins of movies where you can find some good new and classic titles.

While you are picking out movies, snacks are a welcomed treat to go with your film picks.  Remember that not all food travels well, so look for snacks like Slim Jims or pre-packaged snacks. Bags of coffee or individual packages of coffee, hot chocolate, and cider packages are delicious treats. If you light up when you see a case of Little Debbie snacks, just imagine how nice it will be for a soldier abroad.  Even sending some holiday decorations can brighten their day.

snowman-ornament

Even sending more practical items to those who are stationed will be appreciated.  It can be nice to get some of the personal care products that we take for granted, like balm for their hands and new socks which wear down easily. Phone cards are a great present to help soldiers and their families keep in touch.

practical items for soldier donations

These donations are greatly appreciated no matter the size or the cost.  Sending these care packages is a great way show your support for our troops.  Remember to send your items early in the season but, if you can’t, donations are accepted year-round.

US army soldiers asking for donations