First Draft Care Package(s)

Because knowing you all as I do, and knowing how you work, I don’t think it’ll all fit in one box.

In comments tothe Richard Cohen post, leinie wrote:

MY CHILD is in Afghanistan right now. Thanks to the
previous administration’s amoral and illegal actions, not only do I
have to worry about him being killed in battle, I have to worry about
how he’d be treated were he to fall into enemy hands.

Which, to be honest, I’ve always had to worry about, but in the
past, my govt. operated from a higher moral ground and hadn’t given the
fucking green light to torture as acceptable. No reason for the Taliban
to be restrained in how they would treat him – all they have to do is
point to one of the MANY locations and instances where the US said, oh
this is ok. It’s not like we gave them the winning hand in the
propaganda battle by dropping to their level or anything.

And it just … I’m as disheartened as anyone that Obama seems set on escalating, rather than ending, the war in Afghanistan. I’m as disheartened as anyone that for many of us the world doesn’t seem significantly different than it did a year ago. But you know and I know that we can sit here and be disheartened or we can do something about it.

I e-mailed leinie and asked if there was something we on the blog could do, could send, could contribute. What her son and his friends might want. Good coffee, snackies, games and prepaid phone cards was the answer. A little food therapy, some fun, and a chance to call home. Not a tall order, really.

I think we can provide that. So here’s what the plan is:

1. I’ve set up anAmazon Wish List with games for the Wii and Xbox, which leinie tells us they have access to over there. You can click that, it will send it to me and I will send it on since Amazon in its wisdomwon’t ship games to military addresses.

2. Hit upthe tip jar above and put “care package” in the message field. If you have something specific you want me to buy, note that as well. Otherwise, in about a week or so, or whenever I think we’re done, I’ll take the cash available and a big shopping list and go get as many snacks, piles of coffee, phone cards and whatever else I can scare up to make life a little happier.

3. “What about sending X? The list should have Y!” If you have an idea, or want something on the Wish List what isn’t on it, or whatever, drop me an e-mail.

I’lltake the money and run to Mexico document the whole thing with photos and let you all know when it’s sent out.

You guys have always been willing to step up when the opportunity arises and do the things anyone else would only talk about. After months of discussion about the supposed newspaper crisis, you funded three underfunded schools’ student journalism efforts to actually MAKE better journalists.When we talked about the need to tell the stories that weren’t being told, you sent Scout to NOLA and me to Denver to do our own reporting. You keep this blog going with your donations and your contributions and your comments, and that generosity and courage has crossed state lines from New York to California to Wisconsin to Florida. I think it’s time we make it international.

Let’s send a big box of home to the family and friends of our own. The economy sucks, and no one should feel obligated to contribute funds if he or she can’t. If you can’t kick in a few bucks, send me a note you’d like included in the box and I’ll put those in, too. Let’s take care in a small way, even as we keep fighting to take care in a big one.


12 thoughts on “First Draft Care Package(s)

  1. Did it a couple of weeks ago, and the list read like something I would ask of my American cousins during my nine-month stint in early-90s India. Everything that we take for granted as American consumers. Ugh.

  2. Well, I feel that it’s my duty to point out that alcohol and porn, though forbidden, were always appreciated.

  3. This is a great idea, and thank you for the opportunity, A. As much as I despise the very idea that we have so many US military personnel in Afghanistan with no justifiable purpose, I wish nothing but the best for those who are there.

  4. We did this for a coworker a few years back and I suggest you offer a separate tip jar fund for postage or some way to contribute to postage costs. It’s freaking expensive and if you’re planning on making this an ongoing project it will take a big bite out of your personal funds.
    Also, make it easy for those of us who can’t do anything for a week or so (paycheck to paycheck, you know…). Put your Amazon button etc. on the side so we don’t have to hunt for the entry when we have the resources.
    Good job, A.

  5. Sue, I’ll put a link to the whole project up in the sidebar, good idea. My mom sent something to a relative recently and you can use the Priority Mail flat rate boxes, that way it’s only $13 or whatever, even if it is overseas.
    Thanks to everybody who’s donated so far. We’re over $100 in cash already!

  6. My buddy CT says they can always use pre-moisened towelettes likethese over there; if you’ve got a restaurant or medical supply anywhere near you you can probably buy them by the gross and get them cheaper.
    Going to pony up right now.

  7. Great idea! My oldest got back from a tour on the Afghan/Pakistan border in March. He is thankfully completely out of the Army and a full-fledged civilian now. Whew!
    Our thoughts are with you, leinie, as well as with your son and his buddies over there. Thank you.

  8. I’m in. Use mine for postage fees if you like. I hear from Rustin that USPS has just changed a lot of its rules about parcel post, and they’re rather bastardly these days.

  9. I’m in too. My only suggestion is for powdered creamer to go with the coffee, since it should ship well and hold up no matter how hot it gets.
    What a great idea. I’m happy to help.

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