25 September 2006

SPREAD THE WORD: Send your used stuffed animals and toys to children in Iraq

Updated 7/08: Edmay's comrade has taken over her role, and is still accepting toy, clothing and supply donations. Send your donations to:

Michael R. Fellenz
USACE-GRN-MAO
FOB Marez
APO-AE
09334

100 0595BI am speechless. I just got an email from Edmay Mayers, a member of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers who is currently stationed in Iraq. She read the post on where to donate stuffed animals, and offered her own suggestion:

100 0596CPlease, please, please – I know where you can give all the stuffed animals and toys away – I am presently stationed (deployed) in Iraq. The children here love the stuffed toys – I can hardly keep up with the cost of them – I am continuously ordering more and more from Oriental Trading Company and candy for the young ones too. If there is any way at all please have any and all sent to me at the address listed below and I will ensure that the children in Iraq receive all that is sent.

When I sent a followup note to be sure I had the proper address, here was her reply:

100 0598AThe mailing address is as follows:

Edmay Mayers
USACE - GRS
APO AE 09331

100 0598BThat is all there is --- it will reach me and I will give them to our PSD teams who will be more than happy to give them to the children. Please see attached photo of some of the children here that were given candy and stuffed animals on the road. These are the poorest of the poor here in Iraq - down the back roads. They are precious, innocent little ones who are just caught up in all the mess - they are beautiful.

I Googled Edmay to find out more, and came upon this amazing article about her passion for Iraqi children, posted just days ago on Operation Iraqi Freedom: Official Website of Multi-National Force - Iraq.

As soon as I'm done with this post, I'm going to box up a bunch of toys and send them in tomorrow's mail. Edmay, thank you so much for writing, and for everything you're doing. Your granddaughter will indeed be proud.

Parenthackers, please spread the word! Wouldn't it be amazing if Edmay were able to distribute toys donated by people from all over the United States? Think of the good will such a simple act could create...in a place that needs all the good will it can get.

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» Spread the word: Parenthacks.com from Blog
Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks has had my admiration for months; now she has my attention. She has posted a plea for those who are able, to send toys, school supplies, etc. to an American soldier stationed in Iraq who will distribute them to the local c... [Read More]

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» More Do-Gooding from Mom's Daily Dose
(Thanks to Asha Dornfest and Parent Hacks for this amazing story.) Edmay Mayers -- a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and currently stationed in Iraq -- is collecting stuffed toys to distribute to Iraqi children. The children [Read More]

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Your comments

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Where else in the world, with address provided, can I send used faded clothing? USA thrift stores will throw it in the trash even if it has no holes because they cannot sell it to Americans. Where in the world are people not so spoiled that they will go ahead and wear faded, stained kids clothes? I need physical addresses where I can send boxes for hand out, given away free donations to the poorest. All I am finding on the internet are charities who only take money or "like-new" reselable clothes.

The babies orphanage will take the baby items as they do need them. There are three orphanages in Nasiriyah, Iraq which is the nearest town to base. We have friends that take the items to the orphanage for us. Thanks for caring.

Regarding soiled and faded clothes: We do give out "gently used" items but if they are too soiled or faded I don't give them out - so if you want to send them Tonya will have to go thru them and see. I am pretty sure that they will be able to use them. Thank you for caring too.

Bless all of you - I am still in the states so please send boxes to Ms. Tonya Myrick, USACE - GRS, APO, AE 09331. Thanks again/Edmay

I was wondering if you are still in need of stuffed
animals?
I have 5 large bags of stuffed animals that have
been touched maybe twice by my girls. They are
now older and I have been trying to figure out
something to do with them.
Please let me know ASAP if possible!!!!
Dawn

I was wondering if you are still in need of stuffed
animals?
I have 5 large bags of stuffed animals that have
been touched maybe twice by my girls. They are
now older and I have been trying to figure out
something to do with them.
Please let me know ASAP if possible!!!!
Dawn

Hi Dawn, yes please send them to Ms. Tonya Myrick, USACE-GRS, APO, AE 09331 and she will ensure the children receive them. Thank you for your kindness. God bless you. /Edmay

Can anyone who has sent a large amount of stuffed animals to Iraq tell me which shipping service they used and how much it cost? I'm hoping to send two bags but I don't know if I can afford it if the quotes that I'm receiving are correct. Thanks!

Becky, you have to use USPS which is the least expensive. Send it SAM which is Space Available Mail and is less expensive than Priority Mail. If the larger boxes are too much then send smaller ones at different times. It is costly to mail them. But all is so much appreciated by these children and their parents that it is worth the cost (if you can afford it). Thanks so much for all you are doing. God Bless/Edmay

Edmay,
My daughter's first grade class is gathering up toys to ship out in the next few weeks. I am "Room Mother" and am composing a letter for the parents so that they know what this is all about. Except for making sure that dolls have underclothes, is there anything that I should be careful about?

When can we send them till? I have a whole bunch of stuffed animals I would love to give away before I move out. From Beanie Babies to bigger stuffed animals like tigers and monkeys and bears.

Tiffany, that is the only thing I can think of right now except for any religious things, such as, praying bears. All others are fine and thank you so much for your generosity. If you want more information please google my name "edmay mayers" and several articles should come up that you could print to explain it. It is not just me in the articles which you might find interesting.

Rachel, I am sure Tonya will be there for awhile longer and when she leaves someone else will take over the program. As long as USACE (the Corps of Engineers) are there, the program will continue. So, please continue to send your items to these precious little ones. Thanks so much for your kindness.

God bless both of you. /Edmay

To Platoon Sargeant Crow are you also still wanting stuffed animals for the children? My daughters already have several boxes ready to go, we were going to send a couple to you & a couple to Tonya. Please let me know. Thank you so much for your service to our country & to the children of Iraq!!!!

Becky, please google Sgt Crow's name - full name and see the great things he is doing in Diwaniyah - I was stationed there for a little while too. I don't know that he checks on parenthacks.com - so please google him and you should be able to get a contact with him. Bless you, Edmay

I sent several boxes to Sgt. Crow a month or so ago. I just wanted to let you know that the post office does not allow you to ship SAM (Space Available Mail) anymore. I did have to ship them Priority. It was expensive - about $75 for six small/medium boxes. I have one last large box to send but I've been saving up for postage.

Is Michael Fellenz still a contact name, or has that changed to Tonya?

I did not know the postal services changed to "priority" only mail for APO. That does ot seem right to me, Space Available was less expensive - wow. Thanks for sending to the good Sgt.

I believe that Michael has left GRS and is now at GRN or GRD and I have been told that Tonya Myrick has taken over the project. I am in contact with Asha and I think she is going to post information on this. For the time being until Asha posts something different, please address to Tonya. Thanks to all and God bless all of you. /Edmay

I'm a Co-Leader for a Troop of Brownie Girl Scouts in NY and we collected stuffed animals from our Troop to donate to children who are in need and I think this is a great thing you are doing. I plan on sending boxes Tonya by the end of the week. Thank you for doing a great job!

Want to be sure this is the correct address to send the stuffed animals. Can someone please confirm?

Thanks
Tonya Myrick, USACE-GRS, APO AE 09331

That is the address I'm sending some boxes to today so I hope it's right!

USPS now offers a flat rate Priority Mail APO/FPO box that costs $10.95 to ship to an APO/FPO address, no matter what the weight. You can order them from usps.com (min. of 10) and have them delivered to your house and the boxes and delivery are free.

That is the address I'm sending some boxes to today so I hope it's right!

USPS now offers a flat rate Priority Mail APO/FPO box that costs $10.95 to ship to an APO/FPO address, no matter what the weight. You can order them from usps.com (min. of 10) and have them delivered to your house and the boxes and delivery are free.

FYI - the flat rate APO/FPO boxes are $10.95 for up to 70 pounds to ship to any APO/FPO address. I crammed a 13 gallon trash bag worth of stuffed animals into 2 of these boxes.

I just packed up 3 boxes of stuffed animals to send tomorrow. Thanks for telling me about the usps having the boxes delivered. I gave some to my friend. Her children are older and she was just saying she needed to donate all their toys and stuffed animals. This is a great cause.

We still send the boxes to Tonya, right?

I am from canada how would I send it from here ? With out costing a bundle

I'd like to apologize to Asha and Edmay for falling off the map here. I've since left GRS and moved up to GRN. Thanks to Asha, Edmay, SGT Colson and Tonya things have continued to be distributed in GRS. However, we are in dire need of toys, soccer balls, clothing, stuffed animals and school suplies in the Mosul area. Please send any items that you can to the address that I've listed here. I'll continue to send photos to anyone that asks. My current address is:

Michael R. Fellenz
USACE - GRN - MAO
FOB MAREZ
APO - AE
09334

For those who would like to contact me directly, please send your e-mails to:

michael.r.fellenz@usace.army.mil

Thanks to everyonewho has donated in the past and those that plan on donating.

Mike

Hi Mike,
Great hearing from you. No one has kept me "up-to-date" with regards to GRS and the toy program. I am thrilled to hear from you. I have approximately 30 or so jackets for the kids. They are "Mardi Gras 2008" but I don't think they care because the jackets are all brand new. Now that I have your address I will package them up and send to you. Once again, great hearing from you, stay safe my friend, stay safe. /Edmay

Thank you Edmay, as I said earlier, I sort of fell off the map here. It's a different environment and I needed time to become adjusted here. We'd love the jackets, I'm sure they'll fo to good use. Thanks.....

I just ordered the boxes! Looking forward to sending our animals your way! As far as school supplies go would "slightly used" items be acceptable?

So happy to have found this site... I have a lot of barely used infant boy's clothes... all very beautiful. Can I send them to along with the stuffed animals? Also a lot of baby blankets and toys...I have a lot to donate and would love to help out. I read here about getting shipping supplies through USPO and a flat-rate up to 75lbs... is this still going on?

I am sure they can use everything you send. Gently used is just fine. Thank you for your kindness.

I just started uploading pictures of my tour here in Iraq. I've tried uploading as many pictures of the toy collection and distribution as I could. More will be coming soon.

Sorry, the link didn't show up.

http://www.planetranger.com/bonznstonz/index.shtml

This is great! I have several used stuffed animals that I have been saving from when my children were little, and would love to share them with others. I will send them to you right away. Thank you Edway for helping and caring about others!!!

Hi, I'm Natalie Sudman's sister. She was collecting toys for a while on behalf of Edmay's project. Natalie was wounded on Thanksgiving last year (2007) so she is back in the states, doing well, but she isn't receiving toys at the base anymore. I'm collecting toys here in St. Paul to send there and she says to send toys addressed this way:
Tonya Myrick - TOYS
USACE-GRS
Building 511
APO AE 09331
Tonya is still there, and even if she leaves everyone knows who will take care of the toys, so this will keep working.

Is anyone still taking clothes or stuffed animals,toys?
Do I send them all to the same place or different.
I have michael r fellenz for stuffed animals and tonya myrick for toys?
I have 4 bags of girls clothing sizes 6x to 12. coats, shoes, stuffed animals, boys clothes sizes 3-4t, let me know and i will send them out. Thanks laura

To all:

It does not make any difference if you send the toys, clothes, school supplies, etc. to Michael or to Tonya - the children of Iraq will benefit. Michael and Tonya are located in two different areas of Iraq and both are more than willing to accept and have the items distributed throughtout Iraq for the children. Thank you all for being so wonderful and keeping this program going. The children are lovely and precious and do so appreciate your kindness. God bless each one of you/much love, Edmay Mayers, USACE, New Orleans, LA.

I love this idea and it warms my heart to think of the many stuffed toys that have brought me joy over all the years since I was a kid, going to children who will also cherish and love having them. :D My concern is cost. I was lucky enough to have a box large enough donated to me to ship 100 stuffed toys, but the shipping will be approx. $200.00 which I can't afford. Any ideas? Does anyone one know of a company or third party who will donate the cost of shipping? Please help so I too can help. Thank You!!! Laura

I don't understand why the cost would be that high. I know it is costly but that is really unusually high. Did you have it checked with the Post Office? Another way to ship is to use the Expess Mail boxes - THE ONES THAT IS ONE PRICE - you can stuff them as fat as you possibly can and it costs one set price. This way you can send some now and some later. If you contact the post office all the boxes are free for express mail. Good luck and let us know. Thanks and bless you.

Regarding shipping, go to usps.com and order the (free) package of 10 flat rate Priority Mail APO boxes. They will be delivered to your house. Granted, they are not very big, but you can stuff a lot into them, and the weight limit is 70 pounds per box and it costs $10.95 per box. I think $200 seems awfully expensive as well - I do know that it will most likely cost more if you use UPS or FedEx as opposed to the USPS.

I also want to note that I got a very nice photo and note from Colonel Drolet thanking me for my donations.

Sharon, (Natalie's sister) can you please have your sister send me an e-mail. I have been trying to reach her without success. I have some great photos of Natalie in the Toy Box when we worked together at GRS and would love to post them on my blog. I'd prefer to ask her prior to doing so....Thanks and god bless everyone for sending your items. I try and post pictures of all the toy and clothing distributions that occur between the GRS districts. New pictures are posted now.....

I'm heading to the post office to mail two boxes to Michael. I wanted to post a little tip for getting a few more animals in the flat rate boxes. I used a Space Bag. These are bags that you vacuum the air out of and they sort of "shrink". I was able to get a lot more animals in the box using that than I would have otherwise. You can usually find those bags at Wal-Mart and Target (I had gotten mine at BJs). Once the bags are opened everything "fluffs" back up.

Last update on address to send used stuffed animals was posted on 7/08 to
Michael R. Fellenz
USACE-GRN-MAO
FOB Marez
APO-AE
09334
Please confirm this is still a good address. Thanks, Lori

Lori, that address is still good and I receive boxes here regularly. I usually try and update my blog daily (although I don't always seem to) and thank those families whose boxes I've received. Please check my blog for updates and feel free to browse the pictures I've uploaded.

http://www.planetranger.com/bonznstonz/index.shtml

I just sent a box of stuffed animals to Edmay's address. Is that ok?

is this still a valid place to send the stuffed animals?

Both places/addresses are good. Thank you all for sending them. /Edmay

With Christmas right around the corner, I am hoping to donate some of my daughters toys. I am stationed on a military base in Japan. We regularly send clothes to the military bases in Afghanistan, but I didn't know we could send used toys to Iraq. I will definetly spread the word. My question is can we send the boxes by MPS, this is how we send our stuff to Afghanistan?

Thanks in Advance,
Mandy

Dear Michael,

After learning about this article from ParentHacks, both my husband and I were very excited about the brilliant idea to share gently used toys with kids in Iraq who are in needs. We gathered some of our daughter's toys last night, and immediately sent out totally 4 boxes this afternoon to the above given updated address posted in July 08. Hope kids there can also share the happiness my daughter had from these toys. When my 2 year old daughter grows up some day, I am going to tell her about the story how she shared her happiness with other kids in Iraq ......

Hi, I just wanted to say that I am so impressed with what everyone is doing for these children, my seven year old was also, and she and her fellow classmates are doing a stuffed animal drive, we want the items to be recieved around Christmas, how far in advance do we need to ship?? Also, the kids are including some Christmas cards for the troops, should we ship those seperately? Thanks, and God bless.

Michael,

I mailed two boxes to you back in September. I had delivery confirmation on both of them but the only information that shows when I search them is that I mailed them. Do you recall if you received them? I know you received a lot but I just hoped they made it to you.

Betsy
North Carolina

This is poated Dec13,2008
GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS!
I have new toys, books and clothes for children and some gift cards for the soldiers. Can we still send them to this address?

To all, thank you so much for continuing this great mission for these lovely children of Iraq. Asha, I can never thank you enough for all you did for the children and are continuing to do. God bless you always.

I wanted to give y'all some information as I am not sure if anyone else is checking Asha's webpage - they may be - I am just not sure. At any rate, Michael Fellenz' webpage is as follows:
http://www.planetranger.com/bonznstonz/index.shtml

He keeps it up-to-date and has interesting stories on it, pics of the children, etc. So if anyone wants to write to him please do so. He will answer any and all your questions.

Of course, you can continue to send the toys, clothes, school supplies, etc. to both addresses listed on this post, to either Michael or to GRS.

I will be returning to Iraq early in 2009. I will be going to Kirkuk and will supply my address as soon as everything is "written in stone" on my deployment. I am so excited about returning - I have prayed so hard for this deployment. I will keep all informed of when, etc.

God bless each and every one of you wonderful people for helping take care of these beautiful, innocent children.

With lots of love, hugs and kisses,
Edmay

Are any kind of toys o.k. I have some action figures and little tyke type toys I was going to try to donate somewhere, I would love to send them to the children of Iraq. Some play music, some are musical. Please let me know.

Is this still ocurring today? I noticed that the comments are from 2006...my sorority is extremely interested in helping out!

Hello! Are donations still being accepted at the address posted on the 7/08 update? Thanks.

I have a ton of gently used stuffed animals to donate. Do you have the name and address of the current person to mail them to in Iraq? Thanks.

I am back!! If anyone is still interested and would like to send items to the Iraqi children in the North, please send to the following address:
Edmay P. Mayers
USACE - GRN
FOB - WARRIOR - KIRKUK
APO, AE 09359

I will assure you, the children of iraq will be delighted with whatever you send.

Thank you and God bless, Edmay

I am back in Iraq and would love to have boxes of toys, clothes, school supplies or whatever items sent to me again so I can get them distributed to the children of Kirkuk, Iraq in the North.

My address is:

Edmay Mayers
USACE - GRN
FOB - Warrior - Kirkuk
APO, AE 09359

I will be here in Kirkuk for at least a year but hopefully two. Thanks and God bless. /Edmay

I am back in Iraq and would love to have boxes of toys, clothes, school supplies or whatever items sent to me again so I can get them distributed to the children of Kirkuk, Iraq in the North.

My address is:

Edmay Mayers
USACE - GRN
FOB - Warrior - Kirkuk
APO, AE 09359

I will be here in Kirkuk for at least a year but hopefully two. Thanks and God bless. /Edmay

I recently Googled "donate stuffed animals" and this is essentially all that came up. I have two huge Rubbermaid tubs packed full of Beanie Babies. I was going to look into giving them to the hospital, but most won't take stuffed animals due to allergy issues. I have never shipped outside the US so I'm a little reluctant. Is the address ending in 09331 still correct? Are you still in need of stuffed animals? Any suggestions on shipping since I have never done it before? Thank you!

Hi Mary, I am late with checking on this post. I do apologize. If you still have the stuffed animals, please send them to:
Edmay Mayers
USACE - GRN - KAO
FOB - Warrior - Kirkuk
APO, AE 09359

You just have to pack them up as tightly as you can; fill out a custom form stating that it is a gift and mail it regular mail. There is no need in rushing it as sometimes planes come in and sometimes they do not. So while we do not receive mail on a daily basis, we will eventually receive the packages. The children of Kirkuk, Iraq will love them. Thank you so much. You can always reach me at edmay1230a@aol.com

It is YEARS after this orginal post. Is this still a good address? My kids will let go of some of their toys and stuffed animals if it is going to help these kids.

Thank you in advance.

Edmay,
I cannot thank you enough for doing this. My family gained more than we gave.

My son is autistic and autistic people struggle with empathizing with others. I hoped this project would be a good teaching moment.

It took a lot of explaining, but he finally understood how wonderful it would be to send his toys to the children in Iraq.
He now wants to go Kidziniraq (I think he thinks that's the name of the country!).

The posted pictures were a huge help in teaching him about helping others. He even helped me pack the box!

If anyone is considering sending items, it's cheap! US shipping rates apply, and the postal worker understood exactly what I was doing. The form I had to fill out took less than a minute.

My son now wants to send pencils, crayons, markers, and paper so they can draw pictures. Oriental Trading Company has great packaged crafts and supplies at great prices.

Bless you for showing me a different side to this complicated situation.

These posts are old, is this information still good? I'd like to take up a collection in my area and send some toys. Let me know. Thank you!

Is this program still going on? Our women's ministry would love to start collecting item's to donate.

I have about two trash bags worth of stuffed animals that are in great condition. Just checking on any address changes since troops are constantly being moved/sent home/re-deployed etc

Thanks

i need an address where to send the packages. i have about 16 boxes

It's Sept 2009 and I have lots of like-new Beanie Babies and other stuffed animals to find good homes for. Can you tell me if the address for sending plush toys to Iraq is still the same? Thanks!

Does anybody know if this address is still good. I have some brand new stuffed animals I would like to send along. I will not check this site again, so place email me somebodysmom77@yahoo.com with a good address to send these too.

Please let me know if you still need stuff animals? I would like to help, but before I do I need to knoww if you still need them? Thank you.

I LOVE the Oriental Trading Co.. I get one of their calendars with those off-the-wall ho-
lidays. That's the only way I remember things,
such as birthdays, holidays, anniversaries,
etc...My fiance' even gets a laugh out of it &
I can't even get a laugh out of him!!! ;^}

are you still collecting items for iraqi children??

dear edmay, i am an american in germany,,,how can i donate toys, english books, stuffed animals and nice clothes to children in iraq

I to would also like to know if they are still accepting donations for stuffed animals. Please let me know!!

Hello I am a parent in NJ and would love to help. Are you still collecting stuffed animals for kids in Iraq. I would love to do a collection at our Elementary school and send them to you. Please let me know if you are still collecting. Please reply at my email address.
Namrta Shah

It is just after Thanksgiving 2010.
Is there a more recent address to send toys, etc to Iraq than M Fellenz APO address?

hi namrta,

did you get a reply, i have a huge box and would love to send it, but not sure if they are still collecting.
stephanie willard

Is this still going on? I just stumbled upon this, and would love to participate if I knew the toys would still be appreciated and given to the children

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