Put on your aprons!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This is your mission, should you choose to accept it: Brighten the day of our soldiers who are serving in the Middle East.

How? Well, it's simple. Packages from home. From YOU.

Remember my post about Operation Baking Gals? Round 6 is officially upon us, and we need to get started. So many of you left comments and sent me e-mails about wanting to participate, and well, now I'm asking you to put your money where your mouth is.

I really, really want the participation to be great, so I'm hoping that most of you that said you were going to volunteer actually follow through.

We have two teams, baking for two deserving soldiers. All you have to do is go to http://www.bakinggals.com/, create an account (it's free, super simple, and you won't get spammed by a ton of e-mails), and then register with one of the Heather Drive teams. You'll do this by clicking on "Join a Round 6 Team Here." Please try to keep the numbers fairly even on each team. If there are more people registered for Team Heather Drive - Fuller, please register for Team Heather Drive - Archer instead.

You will find the shipping address information for each soldier under "Round Six Info - Meet the Teams." There is an article in there for each team with details about the soldier (if I received any), and the address for where to ship your packages.

DON'T BAKE? No TIME to bake? Well, that's NO EXCUSE. :) There are plenty of store-bought things that the soldiers can use and enjoy. Please visit the Baking Gals FAQ section for a list of acceptable items to send.

Ship dates for Round 6 are between February 7 and February 21, so you can basically bake and send at any time now. I think the sooner, the better because one of our soldiers is actually going to be coming home sometime in March... Also, don't you think it'd be great for our soldiers to start receiving packages around Valentine's Day? So preheat those ovens and start whipping together those baked goods!

Be sure to include a bit of "yourself" in your packages as well. Cards, letters, pictures... anything that will give the soldier a little bit of an idea of who you are, and let them know how thankful you are for the sacrifice they are making for all of us. You may even want to include a link to your blog, or an e-mail address. I've heard that some of the soldiers like to write you to thank you. I did not hear from my soldier in Round 5, but of course, I do not hold it against him. :)

If you are baking, there is important information for you in the FAQ section, too, including tips on how to ensure that your baked goods get there in good condition. Additional info about the organization and my experience with it so far can be found in my original post from December.

Remember, the best thing to use is a large Flat Rate box from USPS. You should be able to pick one up at your local post office (the box is free). Take it home, pack it full of as many goodies as possible, and then take it back to mail it. You'll get a discounted rate for sending it to an APO/FPO address. Normally, it costs $12.95, and I think it's $10.95 to send to the soldiers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. E-mail me at roadtotheaisle@gmail.com, or leave a message in the comments. If you do that, though, just make sure to check back, because I will answer you in the comments as well.

Also, if you participate, I want to hear about it! If you have a blog, post about your experience--Pictures of your baking, you with your package, etc., maybe post the recipe for the goodies you made. Then send me a link to your Baking Gals blog post, or leave a link in my comments section. I am going to try to compile everyone's pictures and stories and post about them later this month.

So come on, baking gals! Get baking! :) And thank you so much!


Nikki,  February 5, 2009 at 3:10 PM  

It's official...I'm a member of Team Heather Drive! Can't wait to start baking! Thanks for putting this together Heather! :o)

Amanda,  February 5, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

Hey Heather!

Quick question for you: I have some family members that are interested in this, but don't have access to the internet to sign up. If I were to give them the information for the soldier that I signed up for under one of your teams, would it be ok for them to send some goodies over?

TIA. I am really looking forward to this!


Wedding Day February 5, 2009 at 3:26 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather February 5, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

Amanda-- Sure, that's fine. I'd prefer people to formally sign up so we can keep better track of how many are on each team, but in a situation like yours with no e-mail addresses, that's fine. Can you yourself please at least sign up, and then your family members can just bake for whichever team you select? Thanks!

Amanda,  February 5, 2009 at 3:33 PM  

Great, thanks so much, Heather! I've already signed up for Team Fuller, and I'll be sure to let you know how many people I get, so you can tack them on to your final count.

Vanessa February 5, 2009 at 3:59 PM  

Hi Heather,
I was just wondering whether I can sign up from Europe (and send my packages from here). I am a big supporter of America and would love to support the troops, also because England and America are fighting together.
If you get a moment please let me know whether I can still take part.
Thank you!

Keira February 5, 2009 at 5:29 PM  

Count me in for Team Archer! Can't wait to send him some Tastykakes!

Laura February 5, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

I'm very excited about this project. I'm taking the LSAT Saturday, but after that, I'm gonna get started on my baking! Thanks for organizing this!

Laura February 5, 2009 at 6:39 PM  

i'm on team fuller, btw.

Jen February 5, 2009 at 7:21 PM  

I'm in on Team Fuller :) Heather, this is just so great! Thank you for organizing it.

Kim,  February 6, 2009 at 2:14 AM  

Thank you all so much...Team Fuller is for my Uncle..and this means so much to us...Thanks Heather

Bridgit February 6, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

This is exciting! Now I have to decide what to bake......

GREAT idea Heather!

Wookie February 6, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

This is a really great idea. I love it. While I send care packages to my brother, he said a lot of times he felt bad and waited to open them, even though he outranks many of them. He said a lot of them never even got mail, letters, nothing, and he didn't want to open his despite his excitement. I know he shared what he could a lot of times but when you hardly get even simple things we take for granted it gets harder to share. Especially when you've been over there for so long. He Just got back from his 4th 'tour' {Why they call it a tour.. I don't know. Nothing scenic or vacation like about it.} and he has to go back in 14 months. Again! As ex-military, thank you. I know there are going to be many happy soldiers with some boosted moral for getting some care packages from people that really care.

Nicole February 7, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

I really appreciate that you're doing this...my brother and his fiance are over in Iraq right now and just knowing that people are doing this makes me smile!!!

Shauna,  February 10, 2009 at 9:38 AM  

Heather, I jsut wanted to let you know that my package got sent out last night =) You can see my blog post about it here:


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