Archive for January, 2010
Volunteering is a reward in itself, but what if you were given something pretty awesome as well? Something like a day at a Disney theme park for free? That is the basis for Give a Day Get a Disney Day, the new local volunteer initiative from Disney.
The premise is this- you sign up through the Hands On Network and then find a local agency looking for volunteers for specific jobs. It could be Habitat for Humanity, a school program, an arts program, Boys and Girls Club, etc. You can search by the type of project you’re looking for as well as your zip code. You select your volunteer choice and you will hear from the organization requesting help within five days with more details about the project. Once you have completed the volunteer day, it is verified by the organization and you will receive an email from Disney with the coupon for the free day at Disney (it takes about 2 weeks from when you actually volunteer to getting the email from Disney).
One person can manage up to eight people’s volunteer projects. So if you are doing this as a family (kids age 6 and up can participate), or as a work group, only one of you has to organize it. Every person who participates in the volunteer project gets a ticket. They are non-transferrable, but if you have no need for it, you can donate it to the Boys and Girls Club through one of the links on the registration site.
You can use the ticket for a one-day pass to Disneyland Resort, Disneyland California Adventure, or one of the theme parks at Walt Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios).
You only get one ticket per person no matter how many days you volunteer, and the tickets are limited so once they’re gone, the program will end. There are some timing restrictions (obviously) and the program will end on December 15, 2010 even if there are tickets still available (I doubt there will be).
I think this is a great way for Disney to get people excited about volunteering in their local community. Hopefully, people who try it out for the free ticket will see how much fun it is and continue to help out. And it’s great that those who already volunteer their time can get a tangible reward for it too. Kudos to Disney for this one.
- The military will pay for you to ship a vehicle. Okay, so it’s not the full cost, but what they will do is give you what they would have paid you had you driven it.
- Dislocation allowance is only paid if your spouse specifically requests it, and this can be paid in advance of your move.
- Your spouse has 10 days to get his travel claim submitted after he checks into the new command, so make sure everything is ready to go or you could be seriously out of pocket. The best way to do this is to have a folder with blank pieces of paper and a roll of sticky tape in your glove compartment. Every time you buy something, or pay for a hotel, tape the receipt to a page (you can double up if there’s space) and then place it in the folder. Now you just need to photocopy all the pages when you’re ready to put the travel claim in and you have no worries about lost receipts.
- The maximum Per Diem is $280 per day. However, you are only paid for what you use and there is a limit on how much can be used for each of accommodation ,food and miscellaneous expenses.
- A partial DITY move can let you make a little money during the move as well as transport important items that you don’t want the shippers to take.
- Big screen TVs (LCD, Plasma, Projection, etc.) are not covered by the shipper’s insurance, so either make sure they are covered on your own policy, or transport it yourself.
- Some countries have a program in lieu of quarantine for pets moving overseas. Make sure to talk to your transportation office at least 8 months before your move to get details (most of the processes take 6 months).
- You can look at rentals at the new location through www.AHRN.com well in advance of your move. This typically shows military housing as well as off-base rentals and houses for sale. All rentals have a military clause in their lease and the units are all inspected by the local housing office. There are usually photos available with the listing as well as maps to give you an idea of where it is. This is accessible only to military personnel and dependents.
- Familiarize yourself with the new area through online websites. Try to find some activities that your kids will enjoy to get them excited about the move.
- If you’re driving to the new duty station, consider making it a road-trip vacation and do some detours to interesting locations on the way.
For more tips about PCS moves (including overseas moves), see The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Life as a Military Spouse.
Why is it that we always seem to lose our ID cards when our spouse is gone? Well, good news is you can prepare for the possiblity before he leaves by getting a Specific Power of Attorney from the base legal office that lists getting a new ID card on it. This is critical if your spouse is reenlisting overseas because your ID card will expire while he is gone.
If you don’t have a specific POA before he leaves, you will either need to get one, or have your spouse complete and notarize a form DD1172. Most ID card offices will allow this form to be faxed to them directly.
Note: General POAs do not usually work. Sometimes you’ll find someone who will accept it, but it is supposed to be either a DD1172 or a Specific POA that lists ID cards.
You will typically need an appointment to get a new ID card. The ID card office varies by base. It may be part of the PASS and ID office (usually immediately outside the main gate), sometimes it is in PSD, and sometimes there is a specific location for dependents to get ID cards. On our base, spouses can go to PSD or to the ID card office inside the NEX. Appointments are almost always required. Check the base directory to get the number. If you’re Navy, your Ombudsman will have it too.
It’s not that hard to get cookies to arrive in decent shape wherever you’re sending them. It just takes a little preparation.
1. Wrap the cookies individually in saran wrap first (to keep them fresh). Yes, I know this is a lot of work, but it helps the cookies hold their shape as well as making sure your loved one’s favorite cookies aren’t stale when they arrive.
2. Place the wrapped cookies in layers in a large ziploc bag (remove all the air as you seal it). Wrap the bag with bubble wrap and tape it all around. If you have more than one bag of cookies, you need to put at least 2 layers of bubble wrap between each bag before wrapping the bags together inside bubble wrap and tape.
3. Place the bubble wrapped cookies into a small box. Any space needs to be filled with tissue paper, newspaper, or more bubble wrap. When you close the box and shake it, you shouldn’t be able to feel or hear any movement. If you do, you need more packing material. Make sure to seal this box once you’re done.
4. Place the cookie box inside your main shipping box, preferably in the middle. Wrap it with clothes you’re sending, or more bubble wrap. The idea is to keep it as stationary as possible. Make sure there is something beneath it so it doesn’t come in contact with any of the sides. If you’re sending cookies, it’s especially important to make sure you shipping box is packed full. Use extra packing material if necessary. When it is sealed and shaken, nothing should move.
If you’re only sending cookies (i.e. not a full care package) you still need two boxes. Package the cookies in the first box as explained above, then wrap that box with bubble wrap, and place inside a larger box. I prefer 2 layers of bubble wrap between the two boxes on all sides. When the shipping box is sealed, there should be no movement from inside.
I typically use the Flat-rate Priority Mail APO/FPO box for my shipping box and then find a box that will fit inside, or cut one down and make my own for the interior box.
This whole process doesn’t take much time. Wrapping the cookies individually is probably the most time consuming part. But it can make a huge difference to whether your cookies arrive fresh and edible or smashed into crumbs.