With American soldiers being deployed overseas, there are many brave men and women who can use our support. Several organizations make it easy to send letters of thanks to currently serving and veteran soldiers, along with care packages, books, DVDs and other nice-to-haves. Here are simple instructions for sending letters, and a list of organizations that collect and ship items that our troops have requested, from sunblock to soccer balls.

Talk to your child: Why is it important to send uplifting notes to our troops? What would it feel like to be far from home for so long?

Book to share: A Paper Hug by Stephanie Skolmoski. Ages 4 and up. This touching story tells how a young boy knows just what to give his dad when he deploys.