Shoebox Appeal For Troops Serving in Afghanistan Over Christmas

A MUM from Little Downham is urging city residents to donate Christmas parcels for British troops who will be serving in Afghanistan over the festive period. Tracy Bradbury is a coordinator for the national charity Support Our Soldiers, which provides sup

A MUM from Little Downham is urging city residents to donate Christmas parcels for British troops who will be serving in Afghanistan over the festive period.

Tracy Bradbury is a coordinator for the national charity Support Our Soldiers, which provides support to members of the armed forces serving overseas.

The latest campaign is asking members of the public to donate shoebox-sized parcels that can be sent to troops who will be away from home over Christmas.

Tracy, who was also in the army, was inspired to help the charity when her son, Martin, who is serving with the Royal Anglians received one of their Christmas parcels.

Her family has a strong connection with the forces. Her eldest daughter is married to an airman and her two youngest children are both in Army Cadets. Her husband served for 22 years with the Royal Air Force.

She appealed directly to readers of the Ely Standard: "I am asking for your help in making Christmas 2009 special for our troops be it army, air force or navy.

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"We encourage individuals, groups and associations to join with us and make up their own parcels or collect parcel fillers. Every single item donated really does make a difference."

However, she explained that there are strict rules governing what can and cannot be sent to serving troops and what information the charity can give to donators.

She said: "Under no circumstances are we able to give out the name and address details of service personnel, nor will Royal Mail accept parcels addressed to 'A Soldier' or similar. Therefore you will need to arrange for your parcel to be delivered to me or another SOS coordinator. To make up your own parcel, please use a sturdy shoebox, a ladies or gents size 6,7 or 8 is ideal. Weight limits are imposed so the filled box should weigh no more than 1.8kg. Every parcel is checked before sending out so please leave it unsealed."

She added that the key to filling a box is to keep the contents small and light, travel sizes or individual portion sizes are ideal.

She said: "We recommend a selection of seasonal goodies, such as a Santa hat, selection box, mini Christmas cake, tube of sweets, tinsel and decorations."

INFO: Contact Tracy via email at tracy@supportoursoldiers.co.uk

Other Gift Ideas

Savoury Items - Nuts, crisps, snacks, Pringles, oatcakes, rice cakes, savoury crackers

Sweet Items - Cakes, biscuits, cereal bars, dried fruit, sweets, chocolate, lollies, mints, fruit pots, drinks sachets

Toiletries - Wet wipes, shower gel, deodorant, talc, razors, shaving gel, tissues, toothpaste, lip salve

Clothing - Socks, underwear, T-shirts

Prohibited Items

The following items are strictly forbidden and any parcels containing such items will be stopped and destroyed.

Alcohol, Aerosols, Christmas Crackers, Party Poppers, Lighters/Lighter fuel, Matches, Pornographic (even slightly) Magazines/Books

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