Please note:

This website was set up to get parcels to Australian Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen/Airwomen deployed overseas.

You are welcome to cut and paste information and use it to support sending parcels to our service members serving overseas, however, when you do cut and paste please link back to Ocean Sky & Khaki to acknowledge OSK, and so that people can find the blog themselves.

If there are questions one of us will answer if you comment on a post at the blog.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

X is for Xmas.

Yes, I know we're still in October, but now is the time to start thinking about packing a bit of Christmas care.

It helps that the stores have already started their spruiking, and there are quite a few interesting little goodies on display.

My local Kmart has mini plum puddings at $3.00 each, for example. There are the inevitable tins of shortbread bikkies (yum), including a small tin with Marilyn Monroe on it for just under $6.

The santa stockings full of chocolates and lollies, santa hats, and plenty more. I didn't take a good look, although I did snaffle a couple of the mini puddings. They weigh in at 127g each, which is a nice little mouthful.

I've not looked at tinsels and things yet - I will save that for the next couple of weeks while I scout out the merchandise.

In case you think I'm being premature, I prefer to allow around 3 weeks for a care package to get to its destination.

Feel free to offer suggestions, and we'll start up a post to share them.


Rebecca & Simeon said...

So, this is all 'for real'?
It would be great to know how this all came about and how it's structured. Very keen to get involved.

kae said...

Hi Rebecca

Yes, this is "for real".

It came from an idea that Nilk had because in the US there are a lot of people who have organised to send parcels to their soldiers, a lot of them have blogsites. Soldiers' Angels
is one.

The main idea is to publicise the facility to send Aussies serving overseas and that way people can support our soldiers and show they care.

I have a godchild in Afghanistan at the moment, and know another blogger who has been to the Mid East, East Timor and the Solomons. Several people I know at work have sons and daugthers who have served or are serving overseas.

Unlike Soldiers' Angels, we just publicise the addresses where parcels, letters, or postcards can be sent to Aussie serving members who are overseas, they may be from any branch of the military.

To give ideas on what can be sent and what is appreciated by our soldiers we post what we know and what we can glean from people we know who are serving and also those who have served overseas.

We also receive information from recipients of our parcels and from recipients of parcels sent by people who find our blog and decide to send messages or parcels to Aussies overseas.

Nilk is an “Army brat”, I was in the Army Reserve thirty odd years ago, and Boy-on-a-Bike has served both in the regular Army and in the Army Reserve. We are all only one degree of separation from knowing a person who has served or is serving.

All you have to do to support OSK is to buy a BM box from the post office, fill it with, say, some lollies or treats like nice tea and coffee packs – for example Harris coffee bags and some tea, some sugar sachets, some UHT milk, you can buy small UHT milk cartons and sugar sachets at supermarkets. Don’t forget to enclose a note saying “Hi”. You’ll need to fill out a customs douane (green slip) and show some ID. Postage is free under 2kg, if it’s over it will cost the full price of a parcel to Sydney.

Parcels are shipped about every two weeks or so, so expect it to be in transit for about 3 weeks. No perishables and the recommendation is no chocolate... but look at the What to send; what not to send post for some help.
You will get a better understanding of what we are about if you have time to read the earlier posts. This post is a good start, and also the posts it links to. These are explanatory, too.

And Ocean, Sky & Khaki? Why?

A is for Operation Slipper.

Six Degrees of Separation

Nilk is working on a list of links/index which can be used for this site so people will be able to find information on what to send.

trio said...

Does it have to be a BM box? I have sent a shoebox and another slightly larger box, because I would rather spend the money on the contents, and not on the box itself. Great website, thanks.

kae said...

Hi Trio
A BM box is a suggestion, the size is determined as "shoe box sized" - it's a guide but the upper limit I think is the BM box (the AFPO instructions actually say BM).

I have packed small cans of tinned fish, which are very heavy if you pack them into a BM box, for my Godchild in the smaller BC box, along with some little treats to fill the box, and keep the weight under 2kg.

I think the boxes purchased at the PO are a bit stronger than some shoe boxes these days.

I agree with you not wanting to spend any money unnecessarily (or waste any space in the boxes), so it's an art to pack the boxes full of goodies without any wasted weight or space!

Nilk said...

Hi Trio,

It doesn't have to be a BM. That's just a guide. I spend far too much money on, so I've a stack of boxes stashed in the cupboard that work for me.

A shoe box is a good size, and I've also snaffled from work the empty toner catridge boxes.

As you say, it's the contents that matter, and you're more than welcome.

(WV: caticrus lol)

kae said...

I've just added a lot of "Links to info posts in this blog" for everyone to see quickly - if you think of a better descriptor for the links please let me know.
I hope that's useful.
If there's any with useful info that I've missed linking to please let me know!

trio said...

Thought I'd let peeps know that Dimmeys and Forges sell Hoyts spices in bags for 70c each, varieties include chilli, garlic, onion, thyme, heaps more. Bigger range than my supermarket actually and at less than half the cost. Packets weigh about 15-20grams (as labelled. cheeries!

Lauren said...

Just sent my first 3 boxes to Afganistan and wow!!
I love it and am already putting together my xmas boxes!
Just had another friend who is going in November and cant wait to send him parcels as well.
Coming accross this website has been fantastic and everyone I have told so far about the boxed has been keen to join in also.

redtail said...

Sent my first parcel on friday, next one is already full.
Told my Mum about it, and she bought stuff for the parcels when we went shopping, and will continue to do so!!(good on ya Mum)
Found some small plum puddings for the christmas parcels.
Its great being able to buy lollies, and not have them around to tempt me to eat them!!!!!

Gregoryno6 said...

I have 8 calendars on order, hoping they will arrive early Dec so I can send off my parcels and give the troops OS a full twelve months of Gina.
Don't think the budget will stretch to 8 parcels however, so I was considering making two parcels apiece for Astute and Slipper and putting two calendars in each - one to keep, one to trade. I'm assuming that the barter economy is a part of the daily grind for the military. I've got no idea what the exchange rate would be for one of Gina's calendars - five packs of cigarettes? A year's supply of chocolate? Maybe two issues of FHM and a sixpack of VB.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for publicising this....was wondering how to send stuff to the troops after seeing the Australian video of a soldier getting a parcel. Gotta say, the address was hard to find - nothing I could see on the AusPost site. Finally, a posting on Sam de Brito's blog in the Age told me ... then I googled and found you!
Off to the supermarket today to send a box of lollies!

Anonymous said...

Hi guy's I am currently serving in Afghanistan and would just like to say thanks a million for what you guy's and girls are doing. I just stumbled across this link on the Townsville bulletin website. It is great to know some people back home are thinking about us and I'm sure all the guy's who have received a parcel are wrapped. Thanks again guy's keep up the good work.

Cpl A Fisher MRTF-2