Hearts for Baghdad

Hearts for BaghdadDaily, we’re reminded about the violence and chaos that is Iraq. Not so readily available are ways to help. Many people have asked about how to make donations, for deployed troops and how to help the Iraqis. Here are a few things I’ve found.

Looking for ways to support and honor U.S. military service members and veterans who protect our security and freedom? In years past, you could wrap up a care package and mail it to “Any Service Member” for the holidays, but with increased mail restrictions, the Pentagon is asking people to help through financial contributions, letter-writing and e-mail, purchasing authorized pre-made care packages, or volunteering time through non-profits.

Below are links to programs that offer aid to our military — everything from care packages to emergency services to military family support. This site at Military.com is an index of various organizations and individuals who help.

Helping Iraqis

For helping Iraqis, we recently discovered the Hearts for Baghdad program.

Many Iraqis who work with us, do so at risk to themselves and their families. Their support structure is new and not very robust. That’s where Hearts for Baghdad comes in. Their mission is to help by caring about their needs through donation and volunteering. A local Air Force Lt. Colonel reports…

“My impression of the men we’ve been working with daily is they’re much like the rest of us and concerned about their families. If the insurgents or terrorists find out they work here, their families are threatened or outright tortured, mutilated and killed. It’s a very real threat and these are brave men who choose to build up the Iraqi government so they can keep their freedom.

Because of this they live on base for weeks to months at a time without seeing their families, and are basically “deployed” like us. But unlike us Americans who have a strong logistics system to get us food, clothes, DVDs, PlayStations,… the Iraqis don’t. What they bring is what they get, and shopping in the American BX’s (PX for you Army types) isn’t authorized.”

There are many innocent people who need basic quality of life support here in Iraq. A Civil Military
Affairs Operation Center operates a medical/dental clinic at Radwaniya on Camp Victory, Baghdad. This clinic reaches out to over 1200 Iraqi women, men and children each month providing basic medical and dental services, hygiene, medical and school supplies, clothing and shoes.

All of the supplies are provided by volunteer donors like you. The medical and dental staff are service members who donate time and skills along with other service members who help sort and give out the supplies.

What can you do?

Organizations and individuals can send supplies to the Multinational Corps Chaplain’s office who take the donated items to the clinic for distribution.

What do we need? We need supplies. You can send us presorted or bulk supplies at your own expense. Enclose kit items in heavy duty Ziploc type bags.

  • Medical Kits: Prenatal, children and adult vitamins
  • Infant packs: diapers, wet wipes, lotion
  • Medicine: Ibuprofen, Diflucan, Naproxen, Children’s Tylenol
  • Hygiene Kits: soap, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, powder, tooth paste, toothbrush and dental floss
  • Feminine Hygiene: Pads, Vagisil or similar products
  • Shoes: Children tennis shoes and sandals, youth, women and men work and athletic shoes (preferably new, not
  • School Kits: Ruled paper, rulers, pencils, crayons, childrens stickers, glue sticks, construction paper, backpacks,blunt end scissors, composition books.
  • Soccer Balls: send unflated

If you would like to help “Hearts for Baghdadvisit this site or use this Donation Information Sheet, box up your supplies and send them via United States Postal Service to:

MNC-I Chaplain
Attn: Hearts for Baghdad
Unit 42014
APO, AE 09342

Contact heartsforbaghdad@iraq.centcom.mil