What is Sponsor The Troops?
Sponsor The Troops (STT) is a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization (EIN No. 57-1236474) whose goal is to provide morale, welfare and recreation items to deployed American troops. The purpose of providing this service is to let the Troops know that people “back home” appreciate their service to our Country and appreciate the sacrifices their families make so that they can serve to keep us free.
How It Works
Sponsor The Troops is a membership organization operated by a Board of Directors. Our members strive to fill individual requests that are submitted by, or on behalf of, a member of the military; or, to find funding same.
A military member can make a request either directly in a forum; or, by filling out the request form found here, [insert link for form] which will be reviewed and posted by one of the volunteers. The request will be available for the approved members to see. All personal contact information is available to members only. In the case of a request for an expensive item, or group request for a large number of troops, the request will be posted on the website to be filled. If it needs to be filled by donations from several sources, one of the member/buyers will coordinate the fulfillment of the request. Requests are posted for 30 days. However, the troops can submit a new request every 30 days. This keeps the information on the requests fresh.
For security reasons, members certify on the application form, that they will NOT give out or share with any non-member, the personal contact information for any of the troops. Nor, will they post personal contact information in any church or club bulletin, website, blog, or email, without the express WRITTEN permission of the military member involved.
Requests are filled by members from their own pockets, or from moneys donated. There is no large warehouse to pull from. Although we would like to fill every request fully, that is not always possible. But, we strive to make sure that every requestor receives something.
All members MUST post what they send to the troops. This helps avoid duplication of effort. And, allows us to make sure that all requests are getting attention.
What Do You Send?
That’s up to the troop’s request and the members’ ability to send. Troops can make specific requests for a book, snacks, CD or DVD, a penpal, or some other item. Or, they can just ask for general support. A request may be made for a larger item or a program or project. We try never to use packing material that can’t be used, so small items are often used as packing. You can go to this page: [insert link] to see a list of items that can be sent.
It might be easier to say what can’t be sent, especially to the troops serving in the Middle East. Pork products, items containing alcohol, pornography, firearms, items in aerosol cans, and tobacco products are some of the prohibited items. Please check with a volunteer if you have any questions.
Monetary donations to help pay for postage or to fund large group requests or project requests are both encouraged and appreciated. As you can imagine, postage costs are one of our largest expenses. Several groups and businesses have held fundraisers for STT, which are greatly appreciated. In these cases, we buy items that are needed, and pay for postage to send said items with the money from the fundraisers. Donations may be made by sending a check to STT Treasurer, 821 Old Forge Road, New Cumberland, PA 17070.
How To Become A Member
Membership allows you to read and post in the private request forum, and have access to military addresses so that you can fulfill requests. There are two types of members:
- Military. Military members and their spouses can join for free. All you need to do is fill out the Military Member form [insert link to form here] This must be sent from your military email address, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Military Spouses can also receive a membership. The military member should send the spouse’s contact information to a moderator, who will then process the spouse to be a member. You can use the Military Spouse form [insert link to form here], and it must be sent from your military email address; and
- Civilian. Simply fill out the membership form found here.
In either case, you will receive an email telling you that your membership has been activated. This email will have very helpful information based on our experience with sponsoring the troops. We ask that you read it carefully.
What Is Expected Of Me As A Civilian Member
- If you decide to fulfill a request, you MUST post what is sent on the request forum. This will help us make sure which requests are filled, and which still need attention, and will avoid duplication.
- You will not share the names and addresses of any military member with ANYONE.
- This is not an adoption site. Will you hear from your military troop? Maybe not, they are, after all, in a war zone, with limited access to computers, and limited time. Quite frankly, we prefer if they have limited access and time, that they use it to write home to family. However, there are some cases where you become very close to the troops you support.
- This is NOT a dating service. Please respect the fact that many of the troops are married or are in a committed relationship. Be caring, but be professional.
- If you have any questions on how to handle a situation, please contact a moderator.
- Do NOT send money to military personnel.
- Do NOT send homemade baked goods unless they are asked for, or until you get to know the military personnel well.
- Our troops come from all walks of life, and from every political or religious persuasion. Sponsor The Troops, Inc. is non-political and non-sectarian. We DO NOT discriminate as to race, religion, sex, handicapped status, or national origin. Discussion of politics and religion are strictly prohibited on the site. However, if a troop asks for a particular item related to politics or religion, we encourage members to make an effort to fill them, without commentary. The Board reserves the right to revoke the membership of anyone who posts discriminatory or political materials.
- This is a family friendly site. Lewd, off-color and offensive material whether text or in picture form, is not welcome and will be deleted immediately. It is the Board’s discretion to revoke membership of anyone who posts offensive materials.