Preparation of these packages is a year-round process. Throughout the year, non-perishable items, such as books, DVDs, puzzle books, small travel games, Christmas cards, playing cards, etc. are gathered and stored. Hotels are contacted to request donations of shampoo, lotion, conditioner, mouthwash, etc. Each of these items needs to be taped shut prior to shipping.
Items included are Christmas cards with a special note from the Adopt A Sox team on behalf of the community, donated books and DVDs reviewed for appropriateness, a star from a retired flag in a small zip lock bag along with a note from the Adopt A Sox team, hand-knit caps with hand-made neck coolers with instructions on how to use them, a hand-made designer-matched cloth pillow case, and so much more. Volunteers sew the neck coolers and pillowcases at organized events.
All donated items are inventoried and stored in our offices generously donated by our board of directors. In late September, donation boxes are placed where appropriate to our needs at businesses that support our mission. Generally, donations of large containers of multiple items, such as from Costco, are too large to ship in one package so the boxes are opened and the items divided into appropriately-sized zip-lock bags.
On occasion, Adopt A Sox receives excessive numbers of particular items and not enough of others. When this occurs, the shopping committee exchanges the excess items for needed items, or, if the items cannot be returned, arrangements are made to distribute these items to military families.
As the shipping date gets nearer, boxes are staged in preparation of packaging. As donations increase and the bulk of the items are on hand, packaging begins.
When the boxes are ready to go, labels and customs forms are prepared and placed on each box. Postage is purchased and attached to the box. Arrangements are made with the Post Office to pick up the boxes and ship.
Adopt A Sox believes in recycling cardboard and having a safe and clean working environment. Cardboard is recycled as we go and any educational coupons on boxes are removed and given to local schools. Items received that cannot be used are donated where best utilized and most needed, primarily military families.