This post is written by Summer Tissue, the founder of Military Connections, a non-profit corporation that sends equipment, care packages, and supplies to military personnel stationed overseas.
We have been shipping boxes since 2003. We are registered as a 501 (c) (3) with the IRS so that all donations are tax deductible.
History of Military Connections
I started Military Connections when my brother, Eddie joined the Marine Corps. Prior to his enlistment I thought that the military was provided with all of the necessary supplies they needed. We found out when he was getting ready to deploy that was not the case. Military personnel are required to purchase their own supplies and equipment. It does vary between branches, but the only item they are guaranteed is ammunition and weapons.
I started shipping items to my brother and his friends so that they did not have to spend their paychecks on items needed for deployment. Word soon spread and marines were writing me letters and asking for items such as toothpaste, soap, and socks. The PX where they purchase the items in Iraq was not getting enough supplies in and the troops had no way of purchasing supplies.
I decided that if they needed supplies there must be other men and women in the same situation and the rest is history!
We ship all types of items overseas. Primarily we ship food, snacks, healthcare items, athletic socks, magazines, and entertainment items such as CDs or magazines. Troops are also encouraged to request items so we also ship items such as helmet lines, bulletproof plates for their vests, combat boots, air conditioner units, sporting equipment, pillows, dvd players, televisions, and an endless list of needed supplies. The only items that we do not ship are products containing alcohol, as it is illegal and will not pass through customs. I have never declined a request from a unit and will ship anything that I possibly can to make their deployment as enjoyable as possible.
Our Christmas Adoption Project is our largest fundraiser of the year. Last year we shipped just over 10,000 stockings to Marines and Soldiers! The adoption program is a great way to boost morale!
312 Auburn Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15235