The Care Package Project™ is a program of MarineParents.com, Inc. Packages are shipped five times each year: early January, mid-March, early June, mid-August and late October. For a list of actual shipping dates, click here.
This is free service to Marine Corps families and the Marines. Helping the combat deployed Marines and their families waiting at home is the mission of the Care Package Project™. Anyone can request a care package to be sent to a Marine stationed overseas in a combat zone.
These are the most frequently asked questions from folks requesting care packages to be sent to their Marine. Please review this page to see if we have answered your question(s) here. Click a question to jump to the answer.
What made you start this program? This project was begun in December of 2004 in Memory of LCpl. Nicholas Larson, a Wheaton, Illinois Marine who died in combat in Fallujah, Iraq, November of 2004. The family asked for contributions to the web site in lieu of flowers, and the care package project was started. For more information, on LCpl. Larson, see In Memory of LCpl. Nicholas Larson.
How can the project afford to do this for our Marines? We receive monetary donations from private individuals, corporations, groups, organizations, churches, and Marine families to continue to fund the program. We have a funding drive each month to reach our target for care package shipping costs.
Where do the items come from that are being sent? We receive donations of care package content from private individuals, corporations, groups, organizations, churches, and Marine families to continue to fund the program. We have a funding drive each month to reach our target for care package shipping costs.
Is the information I submitted secure? Yes. The information collected is never given to any third party. We do NOT under any circumstance share your Marine's shipping address with anyone. The addresses remain secure through the process of shipping the packages overseas.
Are your packages guaranteed to get to them? No. As with any mail system, particularly to a combat zone, there are glitches in the delivery system and not all packages will arrive. However, at this time, we have a high percentage of packages received, and a very low number of packages that are returned to us non-deliverable.
Should I continue to send my own care packages to my Marine? That's up to you. Certainly if your Marine is asking for specific items, you'll want to send those if at all possible. If a Marine receives more then he/she can use at any one time, the Marine will pass the box around to fellow Marines to share.
Can we get Marines’ addresses from you? No. The Department of Defense (DoD) continues to emphasize that names and addresses of military service members must not be distributed by the media, Web sites, companies, non-profit organizations, schools and individuals for the purpose of collecting letters of support or donations for mailing to service members. We never have and never will share Marine addresses with any third party. The DoD does not support adopt-a-soldier programs (CLICK HERE to read the DoD troop support mail policy). To comply with the Department of Defense policy, we DO NOT share overseas mailing addresses with any third party.
What are in the packages? The content of the packages vary depending on the types of items donated by different individuals, companies, and/or organizations. At this time, we try to focus on food items, reading material, socks, and flavored drink mixes. We have a list of items compiled by the Marines for suggestions of what to donate for the care package project. For more information see Needed Items.
How often do they receive care packages? We send a care package to each Marine name and address once each ten weeks for the duration of the Marine's deployment. Most Marines are "in country" for 7-month rotations.
How soon will my Marine receive the first package? Your Marine will receive the first care package in less than 6 weeks from the date you added his/her name. If you added the name at the beginning of the month, we'll send a package that month. There is a period of time at the end of the month that new names do not get added to the packing lists. We do this in order to make sure addresses in the database are current and accurate. Therefor, if you add your Marines name toward the end of the month, it could take up to 6 weeks for the first package to arrive.
How do I know if I have my Marine’s correct address? Every address submitted to recieve care packages is verified through a variety of resources we have available to us. We'll make sure the mailing address is correct prior to shipping the packages. You can also check the MotoMail web site to assure you have your Marine's correct mailing address. See www.MotoMail.us.
Do you include phone cards? Yes, when and if we get donations of calling cards. They are rare, but we do include them when available to us. If you would like to request a phone card for your Marine, there is a program called Operation Uplink that will send your Marine a free calling card. Visit www.operationuplink.com for more information.
Do you send gift cards? No. At this time, we cannot guarantee that the Marines at Forward Operating Bases have ready access to an AAFES facility to use the gift cards. We ask for donations of items rather than gift cards.
What can I do to help or be more involved? We need help informing the public of our needs, holding care package drives, and assembling the care packages. See the questions below for specifics on each of these topics.
Where can I donate items to be sent to the Marines? We currently have three packing facilities; one each in Columbia Missouri, Beaumont Texas, and Elk Grove Village Illinois (the Chicago area). To donate items, you need to complete an online form to let us know what you will be donating. At the time your notification is sent to us, you'll receive an email with the address for one of the shipping centers. We rotate receipt of items to each shipping center based on need. We have plans to open additional shipping centers as resources become available to us. Items can be shipped via US Mail, UPS, FedEx, DHL, or other courier of your choice. Special arrangements will need to be made if your shipment is large enough to require a dock to receive the items. For more information, please see To Donate Items.
Do you need volunteers to assemble the care packages? Yes, however, because our shipping centers are few, it's difficult to recruit folks from around the US to assist with assembling the care packages on the packing days. However, if you are near one of our facilities and would like to help, please contact us via phone at 573-449-2003. You may get an answering machine, but please leave a message and a representative will return your call.
May I request donations on behalf of MarineParents.com? At this time, we need your help spreading the word about the care package project. By referring friends, family, and acquaintances to the web site, they can choose to make a donation or contribution of items or letters. If you would like to encourage folks to become a care package sponsor, see the section under "You Can Help" titled "Requesting Donations".
How do I send something personal to my Marine? We do not have the resources to send special requests or specialty items to Marines. However, our sending care packages to your Marine does not preclude you sending addtional packages. If you have something special to ship to your Marine, please send it through your own resources. For more information about how to send care pacakges and what can and cannot be sent, as well as tips on packing and the types of boxes to use, see Sending Care Packages to Your Marine.
May I send items to you to put in my Marine’s care package? Items sent to one of our packing facilities are inspected, sorted, and then re-packaged as indidual care packages for shipping to each Marine. At this time, we do not have enough resources to assure your donated items are sent to a specific Marine.
Can you send a birthday care package to my Marine? We do not have the resources to send special requests or specialty items to Marines. However, our sending care packages to your Marine does not preclude you sending addtional packages. If you have something special to ship to your Marine, please send it through your own resources. For more information about how to send care pacakges and what can and cannot be sent, as well as tips on packing and the types of boxes to use, see Sending Care Packages to Your Marine.
If my Marine has a special request, is there a way to let you know? We do not have the resources to send special requests or specialty items to Marines. However, our sending care packages to your Marine does not preclude you sending addtional packages. If you have something special to ship to your Marine, please send it through your own resources. For more information about how to send care pacakges and what can and cannot be sent, as well as tips on packing and the types of boxes to use, see Sending Care Packages to Your Marine.
Can you send a personalized note with each care package? Each care package includes a letter from MarineParents.com, Inc. as well as the names of sponsoring organzations, individuals, or companies that helped contribute to that particular month's shipment. The letter includes the personal note that you added at the time you made the request for the package. We do not have the resources to add an additional personalized note from you in each care package though.