I wanted to learn to knit so that I could volunteer my knitting projects. My first donations went to our troops. I recently sent an email to verify that the information I had was current. Linda was kind enough to respond.
As of November 7th, this is the latest:
1. Update on "Operation Helmetliner": We transferred Operation Helmetliner to Citizen S.A.M. in Peoria, IL a few years ago, which apparently isn't doing much with that program. Citizen S.A.M. put out a notice stating that our military would no longer accept the hand-knitted helmetliners (wooly pulley/ski mask). This is totally untrue. It has and continues to be up to the individual commanders as to whether or not they allow non-military issued gear to be worn with uniforms. It was and still is our practice to check with each commander prior to shipping. This prevents our investment of time and money from going to waste for those who aren't allowed to wear the helmetliners and helps to ensure that those commanders who do allow them receive enough for their groups so no one is left out.
2. "Sewing for Troops": This is the name of the corporation for our small "factory" of volunteers. Unfortunately, "Sewing for Troops" hasn't had the years of media coverage that "Operation Helmetliner" has had. The downside is we haven't received the donations to buy the materials for these volunteers to make coverlets/neck coolers/neck gators and to pay the shipping to the war zones for their products. They sew red/white/blue coverlets for our Wounded Heroes who arrive at their first medical treatment facility from the battlefield. In addition, they sew cotton neck coolers for hot weather and wool neck gators for cold weather for our troops on missions outside the wire.
3. "Helmetliners": To answer your question about the current shipping address, it is "Sewing for Troops", P.O. Box 104, Dahlgren, IL 62828-0104. HOWEVER, we will accept helmetliners and scarves for our troops on a couple of conditions: (Sorry.) Because of our lack of funds, we need to receive donations (Checks may be made payable to "Sewing for Troops"). to cover costs and please ask your readers to make sure they follow the pattern exactly with a couple of updates. 1) ONLY black, dark brown or dark beige colors are allowed. 2) No "super wash" wool, as it is flammable. The treatment to make wool washable makes it flammable. We ship to our troops who are in remote, austere conditions, i.e. firebases, where explosions are a possibility. We don't want to increase their risk of injuries by using synthetics or sueprwash wool. Please attach the yarn label to EACH piece.
We have contacts in Afghanistan who will accept every helmetliner/scarf that is made and get it to our ground troops who are in the worst of the worst this winter. One of our contacts is in the Marine Corps, who pushes the helmetliners to our Marines/Sailors who are sleeping in the dirt. Another contact flies the planes that do the low-cost, low-altitude drops to our troops in remote, austere firebases in Afghanistan.
Thanks, Kathy, for checking with us for updates and thanks to your readers for their long-standing support of our military in the war zones. Please let me know if you or your readers have any additional questions.
You can contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions.