In 2003, Army Sergeant Brian Horn, who had spent six months behind enemy lines in Northern Pakistan, called his parents to send more care packages. They were already sending him 5-6 care packages a week, but he said it was for the soldiers in his unit that weren’t getting any mail or packages. They started a project called AnySoldier.com so people could send a package to Brian’s Military address labeled: Any Soldier, so that Brian could give them to other soldiers.
Brian’s father, Marty Horn, built a website so that more people could get involved in the effort. Within two weeks they were getting emails from all over the world! The response was overwhelming and this charitable effort has ballooned. Today AnySoldier.com has 858 military contacts in 21 countries and has helped over 2 million service members since its small beginning.
I found out about AnySoldier.com about five years ago. I was working at Bath & Body Works and thought it would be nice to send some gifts to female soldiers for the holidays. I rounded up friends from church and work to help donate money or items. You’ll see on the website the army contacts have listed things that they and their troops actually need. Plus this effort is more about support than just stuff. Me and my friends put together care packages with lotions, body wash, Chapstick, magazines, candy, hair accessories, deodorant, etc. and letters and cards saying thank you and Happy Holidays.
It was a lot of work, but really satisfying to put everything together and know that it would brighten someone’s day on the other side of the word. Brian Horn loved being a part of AnySoldier.com. “To have been able to distribute the mail personally as a contact to soldiers who get next to no mail at all and for that brief moment see the look of hope in their faces of good things to come. The hope that somebody out there does care.”
AnySoldier.com is 100% supported by volunteers. That’s one of the reasons it received an award for Best Charity in America. If you want to support the troops but don’t know what to send, where to send it, or who to send it to, AnySoldier.com is your answer. In 2005, AnySoldier.com created sister sites AnyMarine.com, AnySailor.com, AnyAirman.com, and AnyCoastGuardsman.com. Now this non-profit has so many other ways that you can donate and support this cause besides mailing care packages.
At Miss Millennia Magazine, we love this organization and the way it empowers anyone to help any soldier! Our challenge to you: check out AnySoldier.com and put together a care package or letters and cards on your own, or with your family or friends.
Write about your experience and send in a picture of you and your project to email@example.com and you’ll be featured on our website!
Read through the entire site before you start your own project. Especially the part about mailing things. Word to the wise: start small. We’re looking forward to hearing about your soldier support efforts!