Weeks 26-28: Off we go, into the wild, blue yonder…

Project: Care Packages for AnySoldier.com


Actual Time: 120 minutes


Once again, I’ve managed to Tom Sawyer people into doing my volunteering for me.

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The first week (Week 26) of my Soldier Care Package project, I thought that I would just buy all of the supplies myself and outsource the thank you cards to the kids of the cast, a la Letters of Love, back in February.


But after one quick CVS trip, I realized that it may be a bit more cost prohibitive than I originally imagined.

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At first, I thought I would go to the dollar store and pick up the supplies, but the specter of guilt, with whom I often hang out with, reared it’s uncomfortable head.


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“These people are out there, risking their LIVES for the protection of your freedom and in service to your country, and you are going to buy them stuff at a dollar store to save money?!?”


So I went to Plan B.


Guilting my friends into helping.


Ensemble Member/Simba Cover Extraordinaire Blaine Krauss, hard at work between scenes


(Actually, I work with such lovely, generous people, it took little to no guilting whatsoever!)


In Week 27, (which was, serendipitously the week of July 4th, so playing up the patriotism card was natural for me!) I set up a card table to make thank you cards in the hallway outside of our dressing rooms. As usual, the cubs were there every show, diligently cranking out tank-shaped thank you cards and multi colored flags of appreciation.


I also put up a flyer outlining the specific platoon’s needs, which I found though AnySolder.org. I had two wonderful cast members drop off gobs of supplies, and when I finally got it into a box for shipping, along with my original CVS purchases, it was almost too heavy to lift up to the post office desk!


Life Lesson: Chocolate bars are heavy!


Week 28 was my vacation week, so I spent the day before departing for Panama City Beach rushing around cleaning the house, packing my suitcases, and shipping huge boxes of our care package items off to our platoon.

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That’s a whole-lotta love!

It felt great to send that box of teamwork off into the blue. (I’m not sure exactly where they are stationed, but I’m assuming it is Afghanistan. The website is very confidential about the movements of platoons. Loose lips sink ships, and whatnot.)


So thank you to everyone I polled on Facebook for care package recommendations (I never would have thought to get them drink mixes! Brilliant!) and to everyone at work who helped color a card or buy some supplies.

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My friends are a wealth of knowledge!

Now, what can I trick my cast into helping me do next….


Week 25: Patriotic Care Packages

Project: Care Packages for AnySoldier.com


Actual Time: 45 minutes

 It’s our first week performing here in our national capital and, after two months of performances in the Great White North that is Toronto, I’m probably feeling extra patriotic.

Lack of data on your phone will do that to you.

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Everything in red doesn’t have US data. Good luck.

I decided to make care packages for soldiers though a website called AnySoldier.com, which gives the service men and women a chance to write in themselves with specific requests.

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Requests abound!

I chose one group at random and got started on their requests at a CVS up the street from the theater. The requests included, and were not limited to: Snickers, chips, laundry detergent, peanut butter cups, baby wipes, sunscreen, tactical sunglasses, and gummy bears.

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Package made of care. And sugar. Lots of sugar. 

The group also includes a few women, and as I am unsure of the feminine sanitary supply in Afghanistan, I included a few … ahem… feminine essentials.

Here’s the conundrum: Do I wrap the ladies’ items separately? Or do I let the male captain open up the package and hand them individually to the women?

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Should I go with pink?

More importantly… am I being immature to assume that this would even be an issue?

Anywho, I spent my hour (well, 45 minutes) this week shopping for the care package. I’ll continue to shop next week for more supplies, and send it out after I’ve collected an ample amount of goodies for the troops!