In 2003, key individuals from several Bozeman businesses formed Adopt A Sox to send holiday care packages to the hundreds of local military personnel that had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Each year, business leaders, Reier Broadcasting, and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle have supported AAS in sending out care packages during the holidays.
In 2010, our Board applied for and received our IRS 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit corporation.
Big Sky Western Bank generously donated space for gathering, sorting, packaging, and shipping items collected, as a year-round donation and storage site. With the purchase of First Security Bank, the board of directors of AAS has made arrangements for AAS to have a new home. The new location has been generously donated along with any additional costs incurred, such as utilities, taxes, dues, etc. Fifth Street Design, a local, award-winning marketing and design firm, has joined the organization as our professional marketing advisor and a pro bono resource of our marketing and advertising materials.
All of the board members are volunteers and receive no compensation for their service. AAS seeks to adhere to best practices and has a strong policy of avoiding conflict of interest.
All of our board members are volunteers and receive no compensation for their service. AAS seeks to adhere to best practices and has a strong policy of avoiding conflict of interest.
The purpose of this charitable corporation is to obtain donations of goods, services, and money in order to send over-flowing Christmas boxes to deployed active military personnel from Montana. Large, 1.3 cubic foot (approximately 20 pounds) Christmas boxes are sent to each of our service men and women overseas, while troops serving in the U.S. are given an overstuffed Christmas stocking of goodies.
In 2014, the board responded to the joyful reality that essentially all of our troops were home and not deployed. Our mission would have disabled us from expressing our thanks to our troops who, though home, always and selflessly stand ready to serve. The board therefore expanded our mission to cover active Montana troops wherever they serve during the holidays.
For troops serving at home, whose needs differ from those deployed, we changed our gift to be a large Christmas stocking of fun and useful items, cards, and a letter of appreciation, plus a gift card to a local grocery store.
Preparation of these packages is a year-round process. Throughout the year, non-perishable items, such as books, DVDs, puzzle books, small travel games, Christmas cards, playing cards, etc. Are gathered and stored. Hotels are contacted to request donations of shampoo, lotion, conditioner, mouthwash, etc. Each of these items needs to be taped shut prior to shipping.
Items included are Christmas cards with a special note from the Adopt A Sox team on behalf of the community, donated books and DVDs reviewed for appropriateness, a star from a retired flag in a small zip lock bag along with a note from the Adopt A Sox team, hand-knit caps with hand-made neck coolers with instructions on how to use them, a hand-made designer-matched cloth pillow case, and so much more. Volunteers sew the neck coolers and pillowcases at organized events.
All donated items are inventoried and stored in our offices generously donated by by our board of directors. In late September, donation boxes are placed where appropriate to our needs at businesses that support our mission. Generally, donations of large containers of multiple items, such as from Costco, are too large to ship in one package so the boxes are opened and the items divided into appropriately-sized zip-lock bags.
On occasion, Adopt A Sox receives excessive numbers of particular items and not enough of others. When this occurs, the shopping committee exchanges the excess items for needed items, or, if the items cannot be returned, arrangements are made to distribute these items to military families.
As the shipping date gets nearer, boxes are staged in preparation of packaging. As donations increase and the bulk of the items are on hand, packaging begins.
When the boxes are ready to go, labels and customs forms are prepared and placed on each box. Postage is purchased and attached to the box. Arrangements are made with the Post Office to pick up the boxes and ship.
Adopt A Sox believes in recycling cardboard and having a safe and clean working environment. Cardboard is recycled as we go and any educational coupons on boxes are removed and given to local schools. Items received that cannot be used are donated where best utilized and most needed.
Letters & Comments
Letters and comments received from troops, their families, command staff, and supporters. Provided so you can see the sort of impact we have acting together!
Our name, Adopt A Sox, refers to giving a Christmas stocking (sox) as a gift of remembrance and appreciation to an active local soldier. Our “stockings,” however are 1.3 cubic foot, approximately 20-pound boxes of fun and useful goodies as pictured throughout this website.
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