Two different charity groups to keep in mind if you want to express your patriotism, show support for the troops, or just want to spread good karma to a fellow American…
AnySoldier.com provides a database of soldiers who would just love a care package or letter sent their way, or just elect to send a package to “any soldier” (male or female) to help ensure everyone gets some love the next time mail call rolls around.
If you handpick a soldier from the database they’ll list some of the items they’re wishing for – a quick browse found many looking for laundry detergent, DVDs, snacks, and writing supplies (no stamps! They can send mail for free). One male soldier asked for more letters and products for the ladies in his camp, as they don’t seem to get as much as the men (you can generically address a package to “any female soldier”) if you prefer. And yet another, with a canine unit, asked for anything he could give his dogs.
(UPDATE: Per Annika’s concerns in the comments, be sure to thoroughly read “How To Send” before shipping anything. There are rules ones must follow, such as not send food items and personal hygiene produucts in the same package – “You would not believe how even factory sealed cookies taste when they have lived together in the same package with bath soap for a month in 120 degree heat.”)
Soldier’s Angels provides a similar service but with an “adopt a soldier” angle – “as an adopting Angel, you can commit to sending at least one letter a week and a package a month.” The group also encourages and facilitates writing letters to wounded soldiers, and also organizes projects from making layettes to give to the newborn children of deployed troops to lap blankets for the wounded.