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:
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.