Packages From Home FYIs and FAQs
- If I want to send a package (packages) to a specific soldier (soldiers), what should I do?
The first thing you should do is Contact the Packing Center. Judy will advise you about packing restrictions, packing techniques, and the postage costs involved in shipping a package.
- Where does PFH get the money to ship their packages?
Donations from the general public make up most of our budget. Fund-raising events help to fill in the gaps.
- How much money do you spend on postage each week?
Our budget ranges from about $1000 to $4000 per week for postage. It drops a bit in the summer and goes up quite a bit as we approach the holiday season. It also depends on the availability of donated items.
- Will PFH mail my pre-packed box(es) and/or donations to the service person of my choice?
The answer to that is a qualified “yes.” Because we must abide by DOD regulations, your box contents will be inspected and probably repacked by us (to maximize what’s in the box). Some items may be removed because experience has taught us that they won’t survive the shipping. More appropriate items will be substituted and we’ll add items from our shelves to make sure your box is as full and well-packed as possible. Click HERE to see what goes into one of our standard food boxes.
For donation-specific packages, we do ask that you provide a monetary donation to help cover cost of postage. Contact Jan or Judy to get an estimate of those costs. The medium flat rate boxes cost $12.65 to ship and the large flat rate boxes cost $15.90. Depending on what you’re shipping, these boxes will probably be the most appropriate way to send your items.
While we never charge for our services, monetary donations are a necessity to mail the packages. When mailing to multiple service-persons or for donation specific packages, we do ask for a monetary donation or additional items we can use at the packing center (i.e., food or hygiene items) for our general care packages.
- How long does it take for a package to reach the troops in Afghanistan?
Once the package is mailed, it can take from 5 days to 8 weeks to reach its destination. Some remote sites only receive mail once a month, so if the package doesn’t arrive in time for this month’s delivery, it will be held by the military until the next month’s delivery. Because of this, we ask that you not sign up a soldier who has less than 3 months left in his/her current deployment.
- If I sign up a soldier for a package this week, will the package be mailed out this week?
Not necessarily. When the boxes are actually packed and shipped depends on our shipping budget and packing schedule. We get them out as quickly as possible, and in order of the request (first in, first out). We do our best to accommodate those people who bring in items and postage money for boxes destined for a specific soldier or group.
- Where are you located?
We’re at 7th Ave. and Buckeye, on the grounds of Phoenix Memorial Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. If you need directions, please CLICK HERE.
- When and where can I drop off general donations?
The packing center is open for donation drop-offs M, W, F from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. If you’d like to drop off items on Tuesday or Thursday, please contact the Administration office at 602-253-0284 to be sure someone is available to accept your donation. If you live in Arizona but outside the Phoenix Metropolitan area, please check for drop-off locations.
If you live outside Arizona, please contact Jan for options.
- What do the soldiers request most often?
Socks and boxers are always high on their list. Because the sand is so fine in their deployment areas, they can wear through a pair of socks in a matter of days. For a more complete list of donation items, CLICK HERE.
- I have collected items for you to send to the troops but don’t live in the Phoenix area. What’s the best way to get the items to you?
Before you ship anything to us, please contact Jan, She’ll help you determine the best way to get your items to the troops, whether it’s to send them to us for distribution or to send them straight to a troop recreation center overseas for direct distribution.
- Does PFH track the packages once they are sent out?
We are unable to track or guarantee delivery of packages sent from our site. They are turned over to the United States Post Office for shipping, and from there go to the military post office for processing and delivery.
- If I want to come help pack boxes, what do I do?
- How does PFH feel about their volunteers and supporters?
PFH thinks our volunteers and supporters are AMAZING! PFH would not be able to do what we do without the support of individuals like our volunteers and supporters. Whether through monetary donations, donations of goods and items or through the donation of a volunteer's time, PFH would not be able to operate on a daily basis. PFH appreciates our volunteers and supporters more than we can possibly express. Thank you supporting our United States Military and Packages From Home!
**PFH reserves the right to change the rules/procedures on a case by case basis.. Please call the PFH Administration office to discuss your project and/or contribution to PFH