This holiday season, many families will be hundreds of miles apart from their Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member. However, thanks to Canada Post and CAF Morale Mail, being apart this holiday season doesn’t mean loved ones can’t stay connected and share in the holiday cheer.
Via Canada Post, families and friends can send parcels to loved ones overseas from Oct. 11 through Jan. 13, 2017, free-of-charge. Also, letters up to 500 grams can be sent free-of-charge until Dec. 31.
Packages intended for Christmas must be sent to the Belleville address by Nov. 18, 2016.
Packages must include the soldier’s name, rank, and mission information to ensure it reaches loved ones directly and don’t forget to include a Canada Customs declaration form. A link is included at the end of the article to a complete list of mission addresses.
Be sure to plan in advance because packages can take up to three weeks to reach their destination.
Schools, organizations and groups can also use Canada Post to send letters of appreciation in bulk to CAF members posted overseas this holiday season. However, these parcels will require postage and are not free-of-charge.
Families and friends can also use CAF Morale Mail to deliver parcels and letters to loved ones.
“Mail is key to troop morale and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) goes to great effort to ensure regular mail service to members wherever they may be deployed. The Morale Mail service provides families and friends within Canada a cost-free alternative to using Canada Post to send care packages to those serving at a CAF deployed operation,” said Evan Koronewski, Senior Communications Advisor for the Department of National Defence.
Mail sent through this method can be dropped off at any Base or Wing MFRC, mail room, and Military Post Office. People can also contact the local Military Family Resource Centre (link to www.familyforce.ca). However, keep in mind it can take up to 28 days to reach theatre, as Morale Mail is sent out once a week from locations across Canada, so plan ahead or use Canada Post for time sensitive packages.
“The CAF Postal Unit (CFPU) works closely with Canada Post to ensure uninterrupted mail service to CF members. Canada Post provides an annual program in which mail destined to deployed CAF members will be delivered to the CFPU from anywhere in Canada free of charge,” added Koronewski.
Safety is of utmost importance and any package that contains questionable content and no return address will be opened and verified and contents may be removed. A letter is included in these packages explaining the situation.
The Belleville shipping address for Canada Post is:
PO Box Stn Forces
Belleville, Ontario, K8N 5W6
If you are reaching a loved one aboard one of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships the address is:
NAME OF THE SHIP
PO BOX 17000 STN FORCES
VICTORIA BC V9A 7N2
For a complete list of guidelines, restrictions and operation addresses click here.
Make sure you check out our Fall 2016 issue for our Deployment Package 101 article on what to send and things to remember when sending a package.