Our VFW Auxiliary Adopted A Platoon. We are a small Auxiliary in Oregon with mostly elderly members. We wanted to help in our small way, service members serving overseas. We gathered our suggested materials to send, often using multiple boxes. We did this for 10 months with no response from the platoon, although I listed my email address requesting them to send us a list of items they would like. Never received a response. Finally, not knowing if they were still in Afghanistan, I checked the "return if undeliverable" square on the declaration papers. We got our 2 boxes back we sent in June, 2016 and am expecting the next one we sent to come home too. Would it have been too much trouble to let us know that they no longer wanted to receive boxes from home? I say this because the cost for our Auxiliary to send these boxes is considerable, not to mention the cost of all the items inside the boxes. This was not a good experience for us, and I doubt we will do this again.
I was disheartened with the bad reviews that I read about the Adopt-A-Platoon Organization and felt compelled to give you a good news story. I have served the military for 32 years and will retire this year. I spent the last 2 years deployed to Saudi Arabia as a Senior Enlisted Advisor. The Adopt-A- Platoon has sent care packages and boxes to our three organizations here for that entire time. Our Service members from all branches of the military have shed tears at times when boxes from home have arrived with everything from American goodies with a taste of home, to notes and letters from children telling us how we are their heroes, thanking us for protecting our country. It is priceless when you see the faces of our Service members receiving the goodie boxes. I have personally written letters to dozens of school children, teachers and personally thanking them for their efforts. I will tell you from experience it costs a little over $15 to send one small flat rate box to the troops and the contents rarely adds up to that price. However, the impact on the moral of the Service members that receive them is PRICELESS! A lovely lady in Florida sends us her old magazines and has even made cupcakes...which melted in the 100 degree plus temperatures but the troops ate them anyway and you would have thought their mom had just made them for them. I tell you from personal experience that they have impacted the moral of our troops here immensely and they have been a GOD send to our moral. the folks at Adopt-A-Platoon have gone out of their way to fill special requests and communicate with our needs here in Saudi. I have many more stories, pictures, and communications with donors of goodwill that I can share with you if you have any doubt. Please feel free to contact me here in Saudi on my personal email. email@example.com
I was assigned two soldiers. I sent letters and a huge pkg to each. The mailing cost alone ran 50$ each. They were big and heavy. I sent magazines, etc. too. Two months later I never heard anything from the soldiers. I had included my email address in everything. All I wanted was a NOTE. No such luck. I'm old enough to know that after I sent pkgs to Vietnam in the 60s and 70s I would get a note 6 weeks later in snail mail. I gave up. I felt used. Either the soldiers were non caring or they never got anything. One was in Korea so I know she wasn't super busy in battle. I dreamed of something much better.
Review from Guidestar
I have received many packages with one sock, one item, etc.. asking for a donation and mailing back the single item that item can be paired and sent to a soldier. To my dismay, the last mailing included an item of multiple use but was made in China and the instructions was printed in an Asian language. Is this the junk we as sending? Is my money being used to support China and Not our American Soldiers?
I will never donate to them again.
I adopted a couple of soldiers a few years ago. Some replied, some didn't. It didn't matter, they needed things and I wanted to help. I've done multiple campaigns for Adopt A Platoon. You mail your donation to an APO, it goes to soldiers.
There are comments here questioning the charity. I've looked at Charity Navigator. Adopt A Platoon spends over 90% of its funds on program expenses. Compensation to its execs is less than $80,000 in total. Compare that to any charity. Nardizzi at Wounded Warrior collects over $400,000 by himself.
Ida Hagg started adopting troops because her son served in Bosnia and it continued into Adopt A Platoon. This is a small organization. Charity Navigator gives it a poor score for transparency. I'd credit that to Adopt A Platoon not paying too many paper pushers and putting donations where they belong.
I'm proud of supporting this organization.
I have been deployed 4 times and supported by Adopt A Platoon twice. I cannot thank those involved enough for the support I received through the organization or the support my Soldiers have received. They also supported our redeployment party with our families on return to the United States. We also received assistance with getting decent bedding, pillows, sheets, towels, hygiene items, laundry soap and snacks for my Soldiers in the barracks first night back in the US. I have personally seen the assistance provided through the walking wounded program. A great group of people and volunteers.
My last experience was about a year ago in Afghanistan. I got stuck somewhere for a night and it was cold. I went looking for a blanket. I found a stack of Adopt a Platoon fleece blankets. It was great.
On Soldiers not writing back. They suck. Some of the younger generations don't understand thank you notes. Many do and many write back. I try but over the years I have missed a few.
When massive numbers of packages come in we would type up a thank you letter a month and send it out to try and get a thank you out per box. Again we missed a few. In 2009 my company sent out a few hundred thank you notes.
If the Soldier isn't there when the package arrives it goes to the Chaplian. In that case you are less likely to get a note back. But the stuff gets to the Soldiers even in that case. That's where my blanket came from.
I have also developed life long friendships with the volunteers. One had me over for dinner last week while I was on travel with the Army.
Soldiers are still deployed and they still need the support. This is a great organization.
Review from Guidestar
I sent many boxes for nearly two years..I received acknowledgement from a soldier only once. I even included pre-addtressed postcards.
We came to the conclusion the boxes were NOT being delivered to troops. Not one post card in two years????
I felt especially bad for the one soldier who did write a lovely letter. We filled a special box with the small items he requested. Never heard from him again.
Strangely, after I started including post cards, I stopped receiving communications from Adopt a Platoon?????
I just read another review sharing information from "their" soldier....IT IS THE SAME INFORMATION WE RECEIVED FROM "OUR" soldier (once,).....something is truly wrong!!!
It is hard to imagine that a simple handwritten letter from a "stranger" could make two people come to tears. In the middle of a war, our soldier wrote to us and sent us the gift of a tape and a booklet on living a happy life! We are grateful for the priviledge of supporting this young man who gained his citizenship while serving in Iraq! He signed his letter. "We are family now--Love from your adopted soldier"
I've been supporting soldiers through AAP since 2008. I've never found them less than helpful and they do exactly what they promise. I have requested a platoon, a soldier, a pen pal and sponsored multiple one time campaigns. I always send the packages directly to the soldiers and have never, ever had a problem.
I have 'adopted' individual soldiers and platoons through this organization. They send me the contact information and I write letters and send care packages directly to the soldier(s).
It's been very rewarding for me and my children to hear how much the soldiers appreciate our letters, packages, valentines and sundries. And I'm grateful we can help in this small way.
I have been donating to this place and then decided to do a search to check them out.
Look @ the BBB review, google maps their address (that is provided on their IRS forms) and see the headquarters of this "non-profit". I need not say more. shocking! Compare their declared income (many millions) with this two car garage with one garbage can at the curb.