Supporting Our Troops With Everyday Luxuries, and Letters

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“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

-William Arthur Ward


Imagine you are a Marine stationed in the desert and you run out of much-needed sunscreen or protective lip balm as the temperatures soar.

Or you are a sailor who has been living on a vessel in cramped quarters and you run out of batteries that power your small area fan.

Perhaps you’ve been deployed for months on end and simply crave a little taste of home instead of the usual MRE that you’ve been eating for what seems like forever.  You daydream of munching on a peanut butter energy bars, beef jerky, bubble gum, or your favorite treat …  Twizzlers.

Imagine knowing that a package of wet wipes may be the closest thing to a shower you’ll have all month. Or what it would be like to run out of everyday toiletries like deodorant, toothpaste, razor blades. Things that at home we typically take for granted.

You’d give anything to read a letter of appreciation, even from a stranger, for the sacrifices that you and your family are making every day.  You’d love to pick up a book or magazine to help you relax and feel in touch with America … land of the free, home of the brave.

Thanks to you.


In February, more than 2,500 U.S. Marines and sailors, including our city’s adopted 1st Battalion 1st Marines were deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).  They left Naval Base San Diego aboard the USS Boxer, the USS Green Bay and the USS Comstock for their 2011 western Pacific deployment.  They are not expected to return until sometime at the end of the year – another 10 months.

One of the things they look forward to most during the long time far from home is care packages.

In 2003, the city of Newport Beach officially adopted the 1st Battalion 1st Marines, stationed at Camp Pendleton.  Between now and May 31, an organized drive is on to collect items for care packages that will be shipped to the troops the first week in June.  There are convenient drop-off locations throughout Newport Beach (see list below).

The items most needed for the care packages include:

  • · Baby wipes/moist towlettes (these are very popular)/hand sanitizer (small size)
  • · Protein powder and protein bars, multi-vitamin packs
  • · Individual drink mixes such as Crystal Light
  • · Mach 3 razor blades, toiletries such as deodorant (non-aerosol), lip balm, sunscreen
  • · Snacks: Beef jerky, Twizzlers, bubble gum (anything non-perishable or that would melt)
  • · Febreeze
  • · AA-batteries
  • · Socks (black for boots, white for running shoes), foot powder and cooling gel
  • · Duck tape and camping head lamps
  • · Magazines: Sports, Cars/Motorcycles, Health/Fitness, Music, Economy – no pornography
  • · Letters – even a short note to thank a Marine for his or her service

Items not to include: alcohol, sodas, anything combustible (such as aerosols or lighters), weapons, candy or food that will melt.

You can drop off items at any of several local spots, including the Newport Beach Independent office in Corona del Mar.  Locations include:

  • · The Bungalow Restaurant

2441 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar (drop off hours 4:30 to 9:00PM)

  • · Newport Beach Independent

2865 East Coast Highway, Suite 320, Corona del Mar (M-F, 9:00AM to 5PM)

  • · OC Fitness Solutions

1 Corporate Plaza, Newport Beach (Fashion Island)

  • · OC Wine Mart

2272 Michelson Drive, Irvine

If you would like to make a donation but need a pick up, just call 949-385-1110.

To make a donation to offset care package shipping costs, please make checks payable to Newport Beach 1st Battalion 1st Marines Foundation and mail to: PO Box 1216, Newport Beach, CA  92659.  The 1/1 Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.  Tax ID# 27-2756685.

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Lynn Selich resides in Newport Beach. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook at LynnSelich-Columnist or


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