Soldiers’ Angels’ Need
Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-led, non-profit organization providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families. Founded by the mother of two American soldiers, Soldiers’ Angels has more than 225,000 Angel volunteers worldwide who assist veterans, wounded and deployed personnel, and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways.
Typically, the San Antonio facility ships 500 to 2,000 care packages a week with the help of one full-time employee and a handful of community and military volunteers. However, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, care package orders escalate to almost 18,750 orders a week for an estimated total of 75,000 packages during the holiday season. According to spokesperson Eric Rice, the demand for packages typically exceeds the supply because packages mailed to an Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office (APO / FPO) address have to first be delivered to a post office to receive the required round date stamp.
Soldiers’ Angels tested a new Endicia feature that created a combined shipping, postage and customs declaration label that included the necessary electronic round date stamp for APO/FPO shipments. Using the new feature allowed a postal carrier to pick up shipments directly from the shipper, eliminating the need to go to the post office.
Once Endicia software was installed, Soldiers’ Angels began printing its own labels and shipping straight from its San Antonio facility.
Immediately, Rice and his colleagues saw significant positive changes to their process. By shipping directly from its warehouse, Soldiers’ Angels and its volunteers were able to increase its care package shipments more than fivefold, dispatching nearly 1,000 packages a day. He added that the Endicia feature also saves Soldiers’ Angels money since they are less reliant on third-party contractors during heavy-volume shipping times.