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 28, 2010

I notice the blog is quiet, are we still sending parcels?

I had this enquiry from a new reader a couple of days ago:
Hello Kae, I was told about Ocean sky and Khaki buy a fellow breast cancer survivor and I have already sent one parcel off to “Afghanistan”. I have noticed there is not much activity on the O S & K site at the moment. Is this activity of sending parcels still going on?

I have another question if I may. Are the parcels opened before they get to the troops, or are they sent as I have wrapped them? I ask because one of my boxes didn’t close properly but the brown paper I wrapped it in held it all together.

Thanks, yours Miss J
I've only just found it today - I don't check that email often enough and will go for weeks with no emails arriving there! I hope there are no bloopers in this post, it's late and I must go to bed! This is my reply to Miss J:
Dear J

Sorry about not replying sooner. I've just started a new job and as it is my first year I'm a bit tired when I get home and didn't realise it had been so long since I'd checked my gmail address!

Yes, the parcel sending will go on as long as we have troops overseas. Recently I, along with the local RSL, sent 32 parcels overseas, I must post the information on that! We sent 15 to East Timor and the rest to Afghanistan. We have received a few personal thank you notes from East Timor and from Afghanistan. It's certainly a thrill when you receive an email from a soldier just to say thanks with some photos of the soldiers wherever they are.

The local RSL President asked the local school children if they'd like to write to the Australian troops serving overseas, thinking that there would be maybe 30 or 40 letters. The children responded with 350 letters! We had to put many in the boxes for the soldiers. The children wrote their letters and they were put into self addressed envelopes. No postage required as service personnel overseas have their letters home delivered for free.

Last month the local RSL collected boxes of goodies from a few local merchants and a truck from 6RAR came and picked them up to take them to Afghanistan. A bundle of letters went with those goods, too. There is also a collection point at the local IGA where people can deposit goodies so that the RSL can make parcels for the troops. Above the collection point is a poster which gives some items which can be donated.

I asked the RSL president to give the teachers a message for the children to let them know not to expect a reply because sometimes the soldiers may be busy or just a bit shy about contacting a stranger and not knowing what to say.

Next month the commander of 6RAR will be speaking at the local primary school to thank the children and show them some slides of the soldiers at work. I will try to attend, but it is during work hours.

I don't know whether the parcels are opened before they get to the recipients. Sometimes they are shared around, someone might love these lollies and someone else might need the deodorant and another might need the soap, or the toothpaste or the toothbrush. They share, that's what soldiers do!

I have six boxes made up here in front of me and when I can get my act together, and pick up the magazines donated to the RSL by the publisher, and reorganise the boxes to fit in the mags, I'll be sending them off, and probably another six boxes with them!

I must go to bed! My new job is exhausting as I am learning. Nilk and Boy on a Bike both have busy jobs and I know that sometimes it's hard to put posts up... the main job of this site is to get the message out to people that they can support our troops overseas.

Again, apologies for my tardy reply. Thank you for supporting our Australian soldiers. They do a good job promoting Australia by their action overseas assisting the people in the countries they serve in.



Kate said...

Just discovered your blog and I think it's fantastic. Big plans to start a package or two this weekend!

Thanks so much for all the info you've provided - and I was worried about whether or not my postie would be aware of the under 2kg rule but I read in another post if you point it out then you should be ok. I'm in a fairly small town though, so we'll just have to see how we go!

Nilk said...

Kate, thanks for supporting our troops overseas. :) The more the merrier.

I think you'll find there's no difficulty at your post office. I've been to a few different ones, and if the person serving you isn't aware of the 2kg rule, they'll ask one of their workmates who confirms it.

So long as you're under 2kg there should be no problems at all.

Keep up the great work!

Nilk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
redtail said...

I live in a small town, and one of them wasn't aware of it but looked it up on the computer, other workers there were aware. I thanked them for sending my parcels for free, as is Australia Post that covers the cost, but they insisted it was me that should be thanked. It just goes to show that if we all put in a little it goes a long way!!!!
I'm about to send off a couple more packages, and then send of a couple of Chrissy ones, with a bubble blowing gun in one, should get a few smiles I hope!!!!
Good to see people are still finding this place, I tell as many people about it as possible, Including WW2 POW, he was very impressed with all the packages we are sending......

Kate said...

When is the right time to start sending Christmas ones do you think, to make sure they arrive in time?

Mid November maybe?

kae said...

Hi Kate
I'd start now because it can take a few weeks to get over there!
It took about a month I think for some parcels of mine to get to Afghanistan.

Bec said...

You mention 6/RAR, so that means Brisbane, right?

CAn you mention which RSL and IGA that help out with the packages?

I work at a Repat Hospital in Brisbane, and i'll have a chat with the "Diggers Dozen" and see how they can help with sending parcels.

kae said...

Hi Bec

The IGA collection point hasn't been very successful, even though it's been publicised in the local paper I don't think too many people know about it!

But the local RSL will continue to send packages - I've volunteered to put them together for the RSL.

That's why this site is good, at least if someone wants to do something to show support of our military membes by writing, emailing, faxing, or sending parcels overseas there is somewhere that this information can be found.

kae said...

Hi again, Bec
If you can organise a group of people to send a parcel, or several, they would be very much appreciated by the recipients.
It is the nature of soldiers to share.

Bec said...

Hey Kae,

Quite a few Nurses at my work send parcels every couple of weeks to our troops.

I've strated putting in Christmas decorations in my parcels, as well as blank Christmas cards for the troops to send back home to their families.

kae said...

Hi Bec
That's great that you are getting together and sending parcels as a group. An excellent idea if money's a bit tight.
The RSL pres said to me yesterday that it is great to be able to send nice "brew" (coffee) to the soldiers (if they're still using what they used when I was in it's generally a very cheap yucky brand I wouldn't drink!).
In some places blank greeting cards are forbidden. I'll have to check my list and put up some info about that later today. (I don't have it with me or have access to it here.)

Kate said...

Do you know why greeting cards are forbidden? Is it just Christmas cards, for religious reasons? Can't think of any other reason why that wouldn't be allowed. I thought that was an awesome idea!

kae said...

Hi Kate
Thanks for reminding me, I'll have a hunt for the latest list I have and see where they're banned, I suspect it's all greeting cards.

kae said...

Okay, just doing a bit of research on this and I discovered this website (copy and paste the link into your browser, note: this is a large PDF file of 36 pages). There's some info in there about restrictions on postage.

Looking at the print I have it says the same thing. For OP Slipper one of the prohibitions is:
Printed matter prejudicial to public order or offensive to religion or morality.
This would be anything playboy and the like, or magazines of bikini-clad women, etc.

Now, back to my research....

kae said...

Here's a link to Afghanistan customs. I was looking for the restrictions to do with confectionery, but can't find anything in it with that word...
It's a PDF file of five pages. Please copy and paste the link in your browser...

The goods don't actually pass through the normal postal system in the country they're sent to, but they must still meet all the customs rules and restrictions for the country to which they are sent.

Happy reading! I'm off to bed!

Kate said...

Was thinking of sending a few old Westerns, bought some at my secondhand book shop.

I'm a tad worried about the "Printed matter prejudicial to public order or offensive to religion or morality" part though.

kae said...

Hi Kate
I think they'll be OK.
I've been sending some old $2 movies from the junk shoppe*. (*Crazy Prices or whatever)

Kate said...

They're books, not movies. Made sure not to choose any with raunchy covers though! Still think they'll be right?

kae said...

I haven' sent books yet, but I'm sure they'll be appreciated. I just wanted to let you know that I was sending those cheapy movies, they're light and some of them may not be familiar to some of the younger soldiers.

(Note: when I refer to soldiers I mean all our mil members serving overseas, it's just easier to refer to them all as soldiers.)

Kate said...

Oh ok, cool - I hadn't even thought of sending movies. And I've been calling them soldiers too. It's all good.


kae said...

Do you have the Aldi supermarkets where you are?
They have toothpaste and brush sets travel style for only $1.99.

Kate said...

Yeah we do - that's a fab idea! Thank you.

kae said...

Aldi always has packs of two toothbrushes for $2, so I send the two, too cheap! Always soft ones.

Anonymous said...

Thanks from the mother of a soldier serving in Afghanistan.

Nice to see my boy and his mates being supported.

Gregoryno6 said...

I was wondering why you'd been so quiet too. Then a new post appears and bang, commenters appear from all directions.
Regarding the restrictions on girlie magazines, etc - last year's shipment of Gina Elise calendars got through. Or so I assume, since Nilk received one letter which mentioned it.
I'm inclined to think this restriction is the work of our own people rather than an imposition from the countries our people are fighting in. Gina has a gallery of pics at her site which has dozens and dozens of shots of US troops in the field. Anyhow, the 2011 calendar will be out soon and with the $A and $US at parity it's the best $10 you can spend if you want to brighten up a soldier's day.

kae said...

Gina is not naked.

Gregoryno6 said...

(Several alternative responses spring to mind!)

Boy on a bike said...

Yes, we are still active. I've just sent off another 4 boxes, and have started packing the next two. I try to send at least 2 per month - I just don't have anything new to write about!

Gregoryno6 said...

Boab, I've asked Gina to ship a few 2011 calendars to Nilk, and they should be arriving late Nov or early Dec. If Nilk has some to spare she might flick them your way.

Pedro the Ignorant said...

Getting cool in the Ghan. Time to start packing chilli, tobasco, and spicy noodles for the troops.

Got a request for pipe cleaners and thin elastic bands about 20mm diameter from one digger.

Not even going to ask what for. :-)

Bec said...

So, are Christmas cards not allowed? Seems a shame, as they are the ones supporting a Kids Charity and really aren't religious (except for the whole Christmas thing.

Every package I send off has a box of those Cappucino sachets in it, as well as extra sugar. Lollies, of course and a magazine. not really healthy, but I suppose they have ample exercise. :)

Tobasco and spicy noodles huh?

kae said...

Hi Bec

I've bought some cute inexpensive packs of cards to send to the soldiers - I just made sure they weren't religious ones - santa, reindeer, humorous and/or goofy ones.

I've also bought a card for each parcel to write on. And i've got some cheap 3d foil Christmas trees to send, they're flat... and some baubles and a bit of tinsel. Always on the look out for mini Christmas trees that are cheap and light.

Aldi had little tins of kid's games, dominoes, checkers, marbles... the fellows might like dominoes or checkers. and they're only about $4 each.

Aldi also had camping set of knife,fork, spoon with corkscrew and other stuff on it for a very reasonable price. I might wrap one or two up and the dominoes for a special pressie for the recipient.

kae said...


"santa, reindeer, humorous and/or goofy ones."

didn't make that very clear, they're the ones I bought!