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Neighborhood Updates

2010 BluffParkAL.org - Photo by Kay OwensAbout our Banner


BluffParkAL.org, the Bluff Park, Alabama Neighborhood Web Site, is proud to be spearheading Operation Adopt-a-Soldier on behalf of the Bluff Park community of Hoover, Alabama.
Adopt-a-Soldier Updates - Latest Update 05/21/11
Donations sent in first shipment Donations sent in first shipment Boxed and ready for addressing
All that is left are the Customs Forms
Ready to go
Donations sent in second shipment   Boxed and ready for shipping.
Donations sent in third shipment   Donations sent in third shipment
Donations sent in third shipment   Four boxes per soldier - Colter ("Epp"), Sidney and Khalil
Four boxes per soldier - Colter ("Epp"), Sidney and Khalil   119.75 lbs. ready to ship
Donations sent in third shipment   Donations sent in third shipment

In addition to our shipment to Epp, Sidney and Kahlil (who each received 2 boxes this time), this shipment also included donated magazines, which will be distributed to all soldiers of Alpha Company, and donated toys, which will be handed out by Alpha Company soldiers to Iraqi children.

Donations sent in third shipment   109.2 lbs. ready to be sealed and shipped.

Wow!  We received a call from Hoover Fire Station 4 in late October saying that we needed to pick up some donations for our program.  Little did we know what was awaiting us.  It took four firefighters to carry all of the boxes to our car.

Boxes picked up from Hoover FD Station 4   Donations Sorted

The donations came from Birmingport Baptist Church in Mulga who had read about our project.  Their congregation had collected donations, wrote a very nice card and dropped it off at Station 4.

Donations Sorted   Donations Sorted

We sorted all of the donations, then began to pack the boxes.  We had to change some things, though.  We began to order shipping boxes from the USPS directly.  We also signed up for online postage instead of doing each box at the post office.  This saved us time and it saved the post office time, plus we saved 55 cents per box.  The something bad happened.

Donations Sorted   Donations Sorted

In early November, just as we began to pack the boxes, my back went out.  Having never had a back injury, I didn't know how important our back is to what we do every day.  The first week I couldn't do anything, much less pack boxes, so we suffered a one week delay.  In return, though, we picked up another soldier, Roosevelt.  Now we had four soldiers to ship to.

Donations Sorted   Donations Sorted

By the second week of the back issue, I was ready to continue.  Boxes were packed and stacked.  5 boxes soon grew into 10, which grew into 15, then 23 boxes were sitting in our living room.  In addition to the normal things, we also had 2 boxes of toys for Iraqi children.

Donations Sorted   Toys for Iraqi Children

We then received a call that a Green Valley Baptist Church Sunday School class had prepared 8 boxes for our soldiers, along with cards and enough to pay for shipping.  Our 23 boxes now were 31.  Then more donations came from our usual drop-off locations.  By the time all was said and done, we had 37 boxes ready to ship.

Donations Sorted   Donations Sorted

The boxes were packed, now they needed to be addressed, customs forms needed to be filled out, and postage needed to be printed.

Donations Sorted   Donations in Boxes

Our postage program would let us print the customs forms and the postage, but we still needed to cut the forms (paper cutter? check), weigh the packages (postal scale? check), insert the customs forms into plastic sleeves (customs sleeves? check), and tape everything up.

Boxes ready for addressing   The shipping department

Finally, the shipments were taken to the post office and are on their way to Epp, Sidney, Khalil and Roosevelt.  Oh, almost forgot.  Just picked up the donations from Bluff Park Elementary School...time to get another 30 boxes ready...

The shipping clerk   Ready to ship to Iraq

These items came from Bluff Park Elementary School, and included everything from toothpaste to snacks.

Bluff Park Elementary School Donations   BPES Donations Sorted

Lots of good things to send to the soldiers, including Halloween candy, which Hilary (r) sorts, then packs into bags, so that every soldier gets the same assortment.

BPES Donations Sorted   Sorting the donated candy

Shipment 6 consisted of 16 boxes, 4 for each soldier. 

16 boxes ready to be sealed   Shipment 6 almost ready

The students at Bluff Park Elementary School and at Sugar n Spice Daycare made Christmas cards for the members of Alpha Company, 1-14th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division (where our adoptees serve).  The cards were divided up, then put into envelopes, hand addressed to each member, and shipped off.

Christmas Cards for the soldiers   Christmas Cards for the soldiers

Shipment 7 also included donations from a Sunday School class at Green Valley Baptist Church, who sent one (heavy!) box to each one of our adoptees, as well as providing for the postage.  If your Sunday School class at your church would like to send some boxes, send an e-mail to info@bluffparkal.org to let us know.

Shipment 7 almost ready   Shipment 7 with postage and customs forms.

Shipment 8 shipped in early January 2011.  It consisted of donations from Woodforest Bank, Alford Animal Hospital, Hoover Fire Dept. Station 5, and Robert's Discount Pharmacy.  Lots of sorting to do.

Shipment 8 before sorting   More of Shipment 8 before sorting

As always, some great donations.  Total sort time was just under 2 1/2 hours.


Shipment 8 after sorting   Shipment 8

After packing boxes for all members of one of the Alpha Company squads of the 1-14th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Stryker Combat Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, two huge towers of boxes stood ready for sealing.  Total weight of shipment:  210.1 pounds.


Shipment 8   Shipment 8 - 23 boxes almost ready

This shipment was the first to use the US Postal Service Military Boxes, shown at left.  On the right, 23 boxes are ready to be shipped, having been packed, sealed, postage and customs forms applied.  Thanks for our local Bluff Park mailman who picked the boxes up. 


Shipment 8 New Boxes   Shipment 8 ready for shipping

21 May 2011

This is the final shipment to A Company, 1-14th Infantry Battalion.  Unlike the previous shipments, this one is going to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, and not to Iraq, since the unit is returning in June.



Also, unlike previous shipments, this one is not going to individual soldiers, but to the coordinator of the redeployment group.  They will disperse these items out to the single soldiers.  The items, along with those collected on base, will be waiting for them as they arrive on the island after a very long flight.


Thanks to the great people all around Alabama, (and as far away as Texas), BluffParkAL.org's Adopt-a-Soldier program was able to ship out over 126 boxes weighing over 1136 lbs. to our troops in Iraq.  At this time the program is going into a hiatus mode, but will crank back up soon!

Pounds of Items Shipped (Through 5/21/11): 1136.5 lbs.

Number of Boxes Shipped (Through 5/21/11): 126

Postage to Ship Items (Through 1/11/11): $1535.15


Leading Drop-Off Locations (Through 1/11/11):

Bluff Park Elementary School

Robert's Discount Pharmacy

Woodforest Bank

Hoover Fitness

Hoover Fire Station #1

Hoover Fire Station #4

Alford Avenue Animal Hospital

Buffalo Wild Wings Hoover

Hoover Fire Station #5

Financial Donation Thank Yous! (Through 12/04/10):

Belinda M. - Anniston $20.00

Michelle B. - Hoover $20.00

Anonymous - Drop-Off Locations $9.00

Linda W. - Calera $12.00

Wanda M. - Cropwell $10.00

Jessica E. - Pleasant Grove $12.50

Cinda U. - Altoona $20.00

Jacquelyn C. - Nauvoo $30.00

Gene S. - Hoover $150.00

Pat S. - Hoover $10.00

Doris M. - Hoover  $25.00

Matt B. - Hoover  $150.00

Mary Lou R. - Hoover  $100.00

Lisa P. - Birmingham, AL  $25.00

Gail H. - Pearland, TX  $25.00

Dnn G. - Hoover  $10.00

Frances S. - Eclectic, AL  $15.00

Marie S. - Hoover  $10.00

Cheryl - Homewood $30.00

Joan S. - Hoover $30.00

Jacqueline C. - Hoover $25.00

Laura L. - Hoover $25.00

Carol B. - Cordova, TN $125.00

Thomas B. - Bessemer, AL  $50.00

Misty T. - Jacksonville, AL $30.00

Giovanni B. - Alabama  $100.00

Printable List of Items that the Soldiers Could Use
(Requires Adobe Reader)

Does your group wish to become part of the Adopt-a-Soldier program?  Or do you own a business and wish to become an Official Adopt-a-Soldier drop-off location?  If so, send an e-mail to info@bluffparkal.org letting us know of your interest.

Don't have time to put something in a Drop-Off box?  Want to help with shipping costs?  Donate via PayPal by clicking on this button (donations will appear as BluffParkAL.org):

Any amount is appreciated!


Drop-Off Locations (Look for new locations daily)

All City of Hoover Fire Stations

Robert's Discount Pharmacy

Hoover Fitness

Moonlight on the Mountain

Bluff Park Elementary School (Led by the BPES Student Council)

Alford Avenue Veterinary Hospital

Buffalo Wild Wings, Hwy. 150, Hoover

Woodforest Bank, inside Walmart, Hwy. 150, Hoover














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