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The Ships Project was founded in October 2001 by Ellen Harpin in response to a letter requesting warm handcrafted items, especially slippers, for the crew of the USS Bataan. Since then, the project has grown way beyond that small beginning and has earned the respect and support of the military. More than 1,000 individuals, as well as dozens of church and civic groups, have adopted this project and are making handcrafted items to be sent to those deployed in the fight against terrorism. The USS Bataan has long since returned home and we've continued to send packages to sailors and Marines on more than 40 ships deployed since then, plus Army, Marine, and Air Force units on the ground in Afghanistan. We are now

sending to the troops in Kuwait and Iraq as well.

Knitted, crocheted, or sewn items are being collected. In addition to slippers, we send hats and coolties. AS OF SEPTEMBER, 2003, WE HAVE SENT 100,000+ HANDMADE ITEMS TO THE TROOPS!! With troops still being deployed by the tens of thousands to Kuwait and Iraq, as well as Afghanistan, the need for what the troops have come to call our "hugs from home" is increasing daily. The military has asked us to continue this effort in spite of the DoD restrictions imposed on mail going to the war region.

This is a grassroots effort, supported by our participants and friends. If you are able to help with postage costs, it would be appreciated. This is NOT required but will help a lot! Our postage costs so far have topped over $60,000. Checks/money orders can be made payable to "Ellen Harpin" and sent to the address below.

NOTE: If you are a smoker, please be sure your items are very thoroughly washed before sending. Also, please do not use dryer fabric softener sheets. Ellen is asthmatic, and avoidance of these two things is a very necessary precaution for her health.

Please mail your contributions ONLY during the first week of the month.

All items can be mailed to:
Ellen Harpin
PO BOX 564
Goldenrod, FL 32733-0564

Be sure to put your return address on your package! Packages without a return address will NOT be accepted and will be turned over to postal authorities.

For acknowledgment of your package, include a stamped, self-addressed postcard. Return of this card will serve as notice that your package was received.

For current info and updates, including thank you and photos from the troops, visit our website at