Friday, January 28, 2011

Behind the Diets: The Story of the HPW Sugar Glider Diet

I'm one of those people who likes to know the 'story' behind everything':
  • the 'Why'
  • the 'How'
  • the 'Who
So I thought it was pretty cool when the creator of the HPW diet (what I'm currently feeding my li'l sugar glider: Fritz) contacted me.  I mean, with so little concrete information on how to care for sugar gliders, having access to someone who actually did the research to 'create' a diet for her sugar bears was very exciting. (Yes, I'm constantly pounding her with questions and bouncing ideas off her!)

Here is the original HPW recipe:


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 3 scrambled eggs (some people like to grind the shells into a fine powder and add these to the mix for added calcium and other nutrients)
  • 1/4 cup High Protein Wombaroo Powder (increase to 1/2 cup for breeding sugar gliders - this can be bought online through multiple sources) 
  • 1 tablespoon Bee Pollen (American or Australian - you can find this at most vitamin or health stores) 


Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir until honey is dissolved.  Add in the High Protein Wombat Powder and mix well.

I use a mortar and pestle to break down the bee pollen granules into a fine powder.  After I do that, I do the same with the egg shells (minus the eggs which are being cooked at this time).

Then, I put the cooked eggs, egg shells, and bee pollen into my blender and give it a whirl while slowly adding the wet ingredients.  Make sure everything is blended well - this could take a few minutes.

I like to freeze the mixture using ice cube trays.  1 1/2 a teaspoon is a serving (per glider per night).  The HPW mix will freeze very soft.

Note: without the egg shells, the calcium to phosphorus ratio (CA:PH) is about 1.1:1.  Sugar gliders need a diet with an approximate ratio of 1.5-2:1.

Modified HPW Recipe:

According to Peggy, the search to find the right diet is ongoing.  That is why she gets regular blood panels for her sugar gliders to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need.  With that information, her and her vet (Dr. Tristan) work together to adjust the diet as needed.

That is the process that lead her to 'publish' the most recent version described below in her words.  I will be using this mixture for my next batch of HPW mix.

The HPW mix is made as follows:

2 cup of water
1 cup of honey
1 cup of Odwalla green juice (Naked brand can also be used)
1/4 cup HPW powder (1/2 cup if you're sugar gliders are breeding)
3 scrambled eggs (cooked)
1 tablespoon of bee pollen (Australian - I use American)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend for 2 minutes. Place in freezer safe container (I use ice cube trays with this version since it freezes a little more solid due to less honey included) and scoop out serving each night.

Feeding instructions: (per glider)

1+1/2 TEAspoons of HPW liquid
2 Tablespoons of veggie and fruit mix

The Story of the HPW diet:

This is my brief interview with Peggy verbatim.

1) How did you decide to create HPW?  What 'inspired' you?
It is more of a question as to 'who' inspired me to create the HPW. 

I was trying to find the right diet for my gliders. I had tried the BML, Suncoast, Happy Glider, and we were on the Darcy Diet when I finally started talking with Debbie. Her screen name on GC is Pockets. After talking to her in great lengths and her sharing all her success stories with me I decided to start using her diet as my gliders just did NOT like any of the others I was offering, other than the Darcy Diet.

My Vet didn't like the idea of the Darcy Diet because it is using Ensure, and although that would be good for a glider not of good health, he wasn't happy with using it on a healthy glider. Pockets feeds PML. So I ordered the Wombaroo high protein supplement and thought I would give it a try.

I asked her what else she fed and I ordered everything she suggested. A couple of the items were straight from Australia and they were a seed mix. I personally did not feel comfortable feeding that. Debbie also grows a lot of her own Australian Flora (or at least at the time she did, not sure if she still does)and offers that. I have a brown thumb, not a green one. But, I really liked the idea of using this powder since it was created and used in Australia over the years for Flying Foxes, Sugar Gliders, Possums and other Nectar eating animals.

So I did what Debbie had suggested over and over and she still does on the boards, and I consulted with my Vet on this diet. It was decided since they would get extra proteins from some of the things in the wild, to add an extra egg (Debbie only uses two), and to add some Bee pollen in it to add the extra nutrients, protein and natural calciums. Not to mention it needed no additional supplements.

2) What is your experience with sugar gliders?
I have owned Sugar Gliders since 2003. I have been breeding them since 2004. I have stood and watched numerous surgical procedures and necropsies preformed on them. I have been getting my Sugar Gliders blood tested (different ones at different times) since 2004 to keep track the their levels are at good to optimal levels, including their CA:P ratios. I have taken in Rescues when needed and found forever homes for them when they were ready. I have assisted other breeders by keeping their ill gliders with me so they can get treatment from Dr.Tristan (the breeders lived either out of town or out of state) and I try to keep up to date on all the new things learned from inside the scientific aspect of things as well as our daily learnings we all share with each other.

3) How did you go about the creation of HPW? Answered above.

4) Is there anything that you'd like to say about the whole journey of creating HPW?
It has been a wonderful ride for me. I have seen many gliders thrive while eating the HPW diet. I love that they have no smell while on this diet and as a breeder, I constantly have large, healthy joeys born here in my home and have never lost a Joey due to mom having a lack of milk supply for her young.

With all that being said, I am constantly trying to find ways to improve the diet as I feel there is always room for improvement in any field. We as humans do not have the right diet for us so I am sure that we are far from the perfect diet for them. But it sure is rewarding to be able to continue the research and make simple changes when and where you can.

Peggy's book on sugar glider care. Available at
What do you think? 

Do you own sugar gliders?  If so how do you go about making sure they recieve the nutrients they need? 

Are you looking to own sugar gliders?  If so, what questions do you have?

Also, if you happen to know (or are yourself) the creator of another popular/recomended sugar glider diet, I would love to continue this series with similar posts and would love to interview other creators.  Any help with this regards is greatly appreciated.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stink Bugs and Sugar Gliders

I have discovered a way to rid us of the Stink Bug Plague!

What we need to do is import a bunch of Sugar Gliders and set them up in the wild.  Why?  Cause they eat Stink Bugs! (My Fritz ate one this morning, now I know why my apartment was never flooded with them like others I know, lol.)

Now, what would you rather have in your back yard?  A cute Sugar Glider colony or a swarm of nasty Stink Bugs?

I already know my vote!

Sugar Gliders would be prime candidates for these reasons:
  • they're the only animal that I know of that LIKES to eat these nasty bugs
  • they DON'T breed in high numbers, so they can't become invasive
  • their preferred climate is moderate through tropical
  • if we set them up now, more southern states will be better protected against the stink bug swarm
  • while they can go into a semi-hibernation state, harsh winters will help control their population
  • there are plants here that are harmful to the sugar gliders, also helping with population control
  • once our wild gliders are set up we can carefully select a few at a time to help keep our domesticated pool healthy and diverse (no more inbreeding)
  • they are not known to carry diseases
  • it is rare to have an allergy to them (and is generally caused by bites or scratches, much like any animal)
Yes, it is true: I have thought about this  WAY too much.

So, Pennsylvania, do you still want Sugar Gliders to be considered illegal after the many years you've spent with Stink Bugs?  And Maryland, isn't one summer with this plague enough?  Virginia and south, the time to prepare for the plague is NOW!

What do you think?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

[Restaurant Review] Cazbar, Authentic Turkish Taverna in Baltimore, MD

I'm a member of and was recently alerted to an offer: $30 for $15 at a Turkish restaurant in nearby Baltimore, Maryland.  I'm a big lover of traditional cuisine from many cultures; to me it is a great way to be introduced to a culture.

The restaurant is called Cazbar and is located on North Charles Street. 

The menu looked fantastic and unique so I went ahead and bought one. 

And let me tell you, I'm glad I did!  Absolutely delicious food!  And the whole experience was fantastic.  Ambiance was comfortable and elegent.  Food was unlike anything I've had before and supremely made.  I'm definitly going back.

The location was easy to find and in one of the nice sections of Baltimore, MD.

On the weekends they have belly dancing shows as well. Though I was unable to witness this during my visit.  (Something to look forward to next time!)

The ambiance is great for a romantic dinner for two, a gathering of friends, or even a business dinner.

Have you ever been to Cazbar?  What did you think of it?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ok, I Messed Up

If you haven't read my company review regarding my experience with Pocket Pets, then you might want to do that before reading this post.

Behind the Scenes:

But anyway, here's what's happened between then and now.  Because of that review I received a call from Adam, my local Pocket Pets representative.  Sadly I was in a bad reception zone (dang cell phones!) and the call was dropped before we could actually start the discussion.  He at the time thought I hung up on him and passed it to his boss, Virgil the owner of Pocket Pets.

Virgil sent me a VERY long letter (as an email attachment) that while intelligently and civilly written, basically accused me of slandering his company and warning me off before I get caught up in a huge lawsuit.  (If anyone would like to see the copy of this letter, let me know.)

Wait, what?  He's accusing me of slander?  No way!  Since when is a customer review slanderous?  This is basically what went through my head as I read it to the end.  Almost immediately, I typed up a reply email to Virgil (again, if you'd like to see a copy, let me know).

The gist of the email was along these lines...
  • A review based of personal experience isn't considered slander and is a common place practice among customers of numerous companies
  • I described some concerns that I had regarding my personal experience
  • I mentioned that I was insulted that both he and Adam thought I hung up on Adam earlier
  • I requested that we continue this discussion and can come to a solution peacefully and maturely
  • I promised that if my concerns were taken care of satisfactorily that I would post a public apology with a full explanation (hence this post)

My Apology:

Yes, there was a BIG misunderstanding.  And I did get caught up in the passion too fast.  No I never saw any proof of the accusations (and I never actually posted those accusations as my own).  But, for my part in the drama, I definitely apologize.  I was wrong.

My Reasoning Behind the Apology:

Now that you have the back story, here's what happened next.  Virgil himself never emailed me back (according to Adam he's too tired of the accusations to believe in diplomacy, lol).  However, Adam did call me back (during the lunch hour of 1/14/11).

And during a phone conversation that lasted just over an hour, Adam explained the history and the reason behind Virgil founding Pocket Pets.  He also discussed at length with me regarding various concerns that I had regarding my experience and some of the accusations that I had heard during my lengthy research.  (Sadly there's not many sources out there that I can utilize!)

No, I didn't take notes.  But, he was very respectful and obviously passionate about his work, his side of the story, and his love for his own Sugar Gliders.  And, as far as I'm concerned, they alleviated my worries and suspicions about their ethical standings, concern about the sugar bears, and business practices.

Would I run the business different?  Maybe.  But I truly cannot know since I don't know nearly enough about Sugar Gliders and that type of industry.  And, as of now, I respect where both Virgil and Adam are coming from.

A Note to Those Who Might Be Upset Regarding My Change of Mind:

I have a feeling that I'm going to disappoint many people with this post.  So here are a few things that I want to say to them.
  • I was in no way frightened or bribed or tricked into this
  • I'm not the type to 'change sides' without VERY good cause
  • I still greatly respect your opinions especially regarding the care and quality of life of Sugar Gliders
  • Fritz and any other gliders that I get will be kept in a LARGE cage, be fed the HPW diet, receive plenty of interaction and enrichment
  • I will still assist with the education regarding the care options regarding sugar gliders
  • I will assist with the challenge of breeding mills (as long as there's concrete proof)
  • I will assist regarding the collection of valid data to help reduce any confusion regarding the best care for our favorite little snuggies
  • If you can provide me with CONCRETE (aka can hold up in court) proof that the accusations made against Pocket Pets and affiliates (real or not) are true, then you'll have my full support
Also, unless you have that concrete proof regarding what you're saying about Pocket Pets, I'm suggesting that you quiet down because Virgil is going to court about this.  And he has every right to as a businessman and a human being.  I'm not trying to threaten anyone, this is just a piece of friendly advice.

If anyone would like to question me further regarding this change of mind, please feel free to message me here or on or (I'm KatFarrell).

Ok, now for a lighter topic, I want to hear your favorite sugar glider stories!  :D

P.S. - Adam, now you can show this to Virgil and hopefully increase his faith in the sugar glider caregiver community!  :D

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Become a Local Voice for Your Cause

Do you have a cause that you are passionate about?  Does it need help creating awareness in your community?

In this post I'll provide some quick, easy tips on how you can become the local 'voice' for your cause even if you are not an official representative (yet).  Right now my main cause is...
  1. spreading the word about mill brokers and breeders of sugar gliders/honey gliders
  2. helping build awareness of reliable sources of information to help potential and current sugar glider owners make the best educated decision for them and the sugar gliders (or sugar bears as some like to call them)
So I will be using this an example throughout this post (two birds and one stone, lol).

Before you go off and spreading the word to help your cause, please do your research.  There might be materials, phrases, forums, organizations, tools, etc that can help you.  Why re-invent the wheel?

Once you've done a thorough job of researching and know that you can consider yourself at least a beginner expert about this cause, then dive right in by all means!

1: Talk about it

Does this cause or a related topic come up often? Good, that should be an easy transition to inform people (briefly) about your cause.

How can you do this?

Nice thing about Sugar Gliders is that 90% of people in my area have absolutely no clue what they are (which is something the mill breeders and brokers like to take advantage of).  So, I am regularly explaining what type of creature they are and how I find them to be a great pet for me. 

There, I can share some knowledge and places where they can go to research for themselves. 

Note: do NOT go over board and make a lecture out of a conversation; people have a tendency to stop listening.

2: Utilize the Web

With the right timing, consistency, and voice certain causes can go viral.  Which is great, but not necessary to make an effect.

Post/share informative articles (blog posts, videos, quizzes, etc) about the cause that are engaging and easy to read (or they're useless) to your social media platforms.  If you do this on a regular basis, those who are apart of your online community will see you as an expert.  Which means they'll ask you questions or refer people to you.

For example: I will start sharing any news articles, blog posts, or videos I think that will be able to help potential owners or current owners of sugar gliders find the best information possible so they can make an educated decision for themselves.

Out of sight, out of mind

Plus, if they see it, it's on their mind.  Creating awareness even if it doesn't create any tangible results...yet.

Note: please follow best practices for web marketing while doing this. Don't overcrowd people's feeds or inboxes.  Keep it regular and often, but no bombarding!

Those are the basics that everyone can do.  There are others, but they follow along the same lines.

Now it's time for the ways you can take it to the next level!

Note:  The 'next level' should be just that: the NEXT level.  Start with the 1st two ways to spread the word.  Once those are solid and the word has gotten around (and maybe you've recruited a few helpers), that's when you can advance.

This is when you start CREATING, instead of just sharing.

3: Blog it

If you have a blog, you can use that to create informative, intelligent, and engaging content about different aspects of your cause.

A good resource for newbie bloggers (it's on my reference shelf)
Note: make sure you know the best practices about blogging before you decide to do this.  Blogging is not something that should be done as whim.  You need regular and frequent content.

4: Create a Facebook Page

You're starting a grass-roots movement, this is one way you can build 'members', awareness, and create a 'home' for the community of people who care about the cause.  This is free and easy to do.  If the community grows too fast and too big, you might need a separate nich community home like a separate web page with a forum.

5: YouTube It

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine world wide.  Try creating a channel, connect it to any official and related channels, and make videos sharing information and rallying people. 

Note: If you're not a writer, this can take the place of a blog.

6: Tweet It

Share links to videos, blog posts, discussion threads and more.  They don't have to all be by you.  They can be by other similar organizations.  You can also share links to news videos and articles that are related to your cause.

And I could go on about social media tools and web marketing.  But those are the basics.  They should get you started.  Here are some tips to help them get off their feet and start running.
  1. create a dedicated team of content creators and managers (so it's not just you)
  2. continue using the 1st two ways to spread the word
  3. make sure everything you do regarding the cause is interconnected (with your efforts and efforts of related groups)
  4. play with the strengths, tools, and materials you already have at your disposal
  5. think outside of the box regarding everything
  6. the more creative you and your team are the more engaging it will be to the current community members and new members
  7. encourage your community to start sharing information with their connections as well (the more voices the better) and give them tips on how to do so

Together...we can

I hope this helps.  Did I leave something important out?  What sharing tips or questions do you have to share?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

[Company Reivew] Pocket Pets at

This review is from the point of view of a consumer, or to put more accurately a new 'mother' to a Sugar Glider that was breed by Pocket Pets.  (Yes, that is me.)

My mother bought Fritz for me in June of 2010 and I was thrilled to have a pet of my own to share my new apartment with.  Sadly, Fritz wasn't old enough for me to take him home yet, so I had to wait over a month to pick him up. 

During that time I researched, I read, I watched videos...I basically memorized every bit of information that Pocket Pets and their associated veterinarian website had available.

Then I started to ask clarifying questions to fill in holes that their information left.

But all I got in return were 'cookie cutter' answers where they basically copied and pasted the information that I already had into the email.  Definitely not what I was looking for.  With every other company I asked a question, I was able to have an actual conversation with the person on the other side of the line (either by phone, email, or chat).

The first couple times, I dismissed this.  Then I started digging around in the web-world outside of Pocket Pets and their associates.  And I started reading some very disturbing things, things I couldn't quite believe.

Pocket Pets, the very professional looking company who seems to be so helpful, was called a mill breeder countless times.  Yes, that's on the same level as those horrible puppy mills.  Others even went so far to call them liars and fraudulent because of their 'fake' vet association: the ASGV.

Plus, they kept on pushing off the date when I could pick Fritz up and take him home.

Needless to say, I became worried and suspicious.

So I sent them an email mentioning these concerns and asking for pictures of the breeding facilities as well as an update on Fritz.

They again gave me a cookie cutter answer, avoided the pictures all together using their USDA certification (which seems to be as useful as an FDA certification) and Better Business Bureau grade A standing. (Though we were able to set up a time for me to pick up Fritz, finally!)

-Quick Side Note: As a marketer for my family's business, I've had the Better Business Bureau (BBB) call us up and asking us to pay multiple of hundreds of dollars for a Grade A standing.  Excuse me?  You want me to PAY for a good reputation?  Sorry, that screams a scam to me.  But anyway, back to the review at hand.

I picked up Fritz and everything went so well that I let it slide.  I followed their directions to the letter and my research slowed basically a halt.  I was busy bonding with Fritz and making sure I had good toys, treats, and other accessories.  Plus, Pocket Pets couldn't be a scam, they looked to professional and official and Fritz seemed fine.

Then I met someone with a female he had bought from Pocket Pets and a male he had rescued.  They started to breed and their fur began to have a brown tint.  This didn't mesh with me.  The gliders were of different ages, so it couldn't have been them getting older.  Plus, I was worried about the state of their habitat (to the point I was thinking negligence) but not sure enough to step in or report him.

So I started researching again.  The first thing I did was email a question to Pocket Pets.  Their history was to email me back within 24 hours (a good habit to keep).  But they didn't follow that habit this time. (Note: It's been about 4 days since I sent that email with no response.)

So I branched out looking for advice from others in the Sugar Glider Care Giver Community (no, that's not an official name, lol).  This is when I decided to join the community at and get feedback from them.

I have yet to see proof of the claims about Pocket Pets being fraudulent and a mill breeder, but I'm definitely suspicious and not happy with their customer service post-purchase.

Have you (or someone you know) bought a Sugar Glider from Pocket Pets or used the ASGV?  I'd like to know your experience.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

[Website Review] - a Forum

I had gotten too anoyed with Pocket Pets and their cookie cutter answers to literally all of my questions (it was as if they were copying and pasting their articles into their reply emails), so I went looking for another source of expert opinion on Sugar Gliders.

And I found  This was a forum that I had sumbled upon earlier but had ignored it because it was a forum (you never know who you're talking to).  But with my annoyance, I decided to give it a shot and dove right in by joining the chat room immediately after I signed up.

While the community as a whole has a tendancy to get a little heated on certain topics (only because they're trying to help the li'l furbats and they bump into the same questions/missconceptions frequently), they are a very helpful and informative group. 

And I'm thrilled to be able to have an actual conversation with someone when I have a question, idea, or concern that I need to bounce off someone. 

Here are some things I like about this website that I've discovered in my aprox. 2 days of being a member:
  • the community is filled with helpful people with passion about their (and all) Sugar Gliders
  • you can get multiple opinions and ideas with multiple people joining the conversation (very active community)
  • they've compiled the 'Gliderpedia' as a place to put a large amount of basic and intermediate level (from what I can tell so far) knowledge about Sugar Gliders and their needs (advanced level needs to be found in the forum and is continued to be discovered because Sugar Gliders are so new to the world of pets)
  • very well formated (despite being a little behind the times when compared to more modern social sites like Facebook) and easy to learn to navagate
  • a well formated and comprehensive profile that you can customize (or not) as you wish
  • lots of pictures, videos, and ideas spread throughout the forum for newbies to look at and glean from
Conclusion, this is definitly a good place to start any research regarding Sugar Gliders. Just don't let yourself get overwelmed when you get 10+ answers to one question (some of them slightly off topic because they want to provide the fullest picture possible).

What's your favorite pet-themed website(s) and why?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Before You Adopt a Sugar Glider

Like any pet, it's always best to do your research before adopting a sugar glider (or multiple sugar gliders) into your family.

1: they are highly social creatures = they need lots of attention and interaction

Yes, some gliders are more independent than others (thankfully I have one of those) but some have been known to go suicidal because they're lonely.  To counteract this you can...
  • make sure they have a playmate (another sugar glider would be wise)
  • spend at least a few hours daily with them (cuddling, 'wrestling', and playing)
  • put the cage in the main room in your home (so they can see all of the activity) - remember, they're nocturnal so a bedroom isn't wise (unless you're like me and don't even hear a sever thunderstorm or earthquake when sleeping, lol)
  • take your li'l furbat with you whenever possible (and introduce him/her to multiple people and animals to help keep him friendly to all)
2: they require a specific diet.  This is true, a simple kibble won't cut it. 
  • certain people think that anything more than kibble gets too expensive and complicated
  • but there are simple ways of getting them the nutrition they need such as widely recommended diets (I use the HPW diet) - these are often as simple as throwing the ingredients into a blender, freezing the mixture (I use ice cube trays for easy serving), melt, and serve nightly - can't get much easier than that
  • also, depending on where you do your shopping, a fresh diet like HPW can actually be cheeper (don't you love it when nutritional/healthy things are less expensive than the popular unhealthy things?)
Note: like children, Gliders tend to eat the treats first. So make sure that treats are limited.  Also, avoid grape skins, chocolate, pork, and any plants that you are unsure of - if you can eat the plant, it should be fine.

3: since sugar gliders haven't truly caught on as pets (except in CA and FL, from what I can tell) there are not a lot of specialized toys, accessories, cages, etc...  Be prepared to make it yourself, buy baby/other pet toys, and have to order an expensive cage cause a typical bird or small pet cage will NOT work.

4: Sugar gliders can be costly.  They are considered an exotic pet which tends to drive up the price.

With the kibble food option, it generally takes about $5/month per glider to feed them.  However, they are expensive to buy, the 'starter packs' are expensive, and you need a vet who's used to working on them (usually an exotic pet veterinarian).  Costs like that can put a glider out of your budget.

5: It's said that Gliders can get along with most pets.  This isn't necessarily true and you need to keep in mind the temperament of any pets they'd regally meet. 

For example, my mom has a German Shepard with a high prey drive.  He's fine with Fritz except when he thinks Fritz is a toy or Fritz crabs at him.  Now, it's possible that if they lived in the same house together, they'd eventually get used to each other. 

But don't take it for granite that they'd bond with any other pets like they did with you - especially bugs, birds, and reptiles. 

6: Sugar Gliders can live up to 15 years as pets.  They are NOT a short time commitment!  (I have even heard of one living for 18 years!)

They're definitely adorable.  They're definitely rewarding additions to the family.  But they are not for everyone.  Take your time.  PLEASE do not splurge on a Sugar Glider until you're positive that you're fully prepared to be a new mommy/daddy for the fellow. 

Note: there is a lot of conflicting info out there.  Double check your sources, find multiple sources for the same topic, and see if you can ask questions of a local vet who knows them. 

Also, if anyone has any questions, please let me know.  If I cannot answer them, I can definitely pass along your question to the breeder where I got Fritz (Pocket Pets) and get back to you.  The breeder has been the top breeder in the nation for 16 years and they're certified by the USDA which regularly checks up on them to make sure they meet quality standards.

Note: diet section has been updated with improved information.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Local Business Showing Community Support to the Troops

Hey! I know this is not in my list of topics that I'd said I'd be posting about, but it's a good cause and I'm trying everything I can to spread the word.

My family's business is working to send care packages to our troops serving overseas and they're trying to get the community involved as well.  This way our warriors get the best support possible; they deserve to know that we appreciate all they do.

Here's how you can help:

1: Help Spread the Word
  • share this on any social media outlets you're on
  • email your friends, family, coworkers, etc
  • bloggers, reporters, etc are more than welcome to cover the event and/or interview me or another member of the Mercer Team regarding this community project
2: Donate Time

On Sunday, January 30th from noon till 4pm Mercer Carpet One is opening up our Downtown Westminster Showroom as a packing station to prep the care packages for shipping. Any and all are more than welcome to stop by to help out. 

Light refreshments will be provided (Birdie's is bringing the coffee!).  All who help will be given a small thank you gift from Mercer Carpet One.

If anyone serving in a uniform (military, police, fire department, etc) can join us, please wear your uniform so we can thank you appropriately.

3: Donate Money

It takes $25 to ship two packages. Please send or bring monetary donations to our Downtown Westminster Showroom.

4: Donate Items

The drop box is at our Downtown Westminster Showroom (26 W. Main St, Westminster, MD - the teal building) and we're accepting donations all the way up to the 30th.

Here's a list of ideas for possible item donations -

Top 12 Requested Items:
1.    Beef Jerky
2.    Good coffee
3.    Ziploc bags (to keep sand out of things)
4.    Individual wrapped snacks of all kinds
5.    Movies
6.    Nuts
7.    Wipes (to help keep clean)
8.    Cards or small games
9.    Powdered drink mix (esp. w/electrolytes)
10. White socks
11. Lip balm
12. Moisturizing lotion
·         Cookies/crackers/pretzels (snack sizes)
·         Tuna in a pouch
·         Canned meats (no pork)
·         Any kind of jerky
·         Cheese spread (no aerosol cans)
·         Ramen noodles
·         Peanut butter
·         Pop-top canned fruit
·         Snack cakes
·         Gum
·         Nuts/trail mix/dried fruit
·         Granola bars
·         Pop-Tarts
·         Throat drops
·         Individually wrapped candy
Hygiene Supplies:
·         Razors and shaving cream
·         Deodorant
·         Toothpaste & toothbrushes
·         Facial cleansing pads
·         Eye drops
·         Soap/body wash
·         Shampoo and conditioner
·         Sunblock (High SPF)
·         Feminine hygiene products
·         Foot powder
·         AA and AAA batteries
·         Books (mysteries, action, drama, SciFi)
·         Magazines (new or nearly new – sports, news, entertainment, travel, nature)
·         Playing cards
·         Small hand-held games
·         Crossword puzzles/word search/sudoku
·         CDs/DVDs
Sports Equipment:
·         Baseballs/softballs
·         Baseball/softball gloves
·         Soccer balls/basketballs/volleyballs
·         Pump for inflatable balls
·         Squirt guns
Other Good Ideas:
·         Socks
·         Cool scarves
·         Sand scarves
·         Blank cards/stationary/paper
·         Envelopes and stamps
·         Pens/pencils (w/sharpeners)
·         Pre-paid international phone cards
·         Disposable cameras
·         Cards and/or letters of support and encouragement
·         All food items must be in the manufacturer’s original packaging
·         No chocolate except M-n-M’s
·         Wrap any potentially leaky items in Ziploc baggies

Any and all help is more than welcome! Thank you in advanced for everything you're able to do.

If you have any questions, please let me know using the comments form below or emailing me at

Related Links:
 ~ Facebook Event Page:!/event.php?eid=190734097608663
 ~ Coffee is to be provided by Birdie's CafĂ© (located on East Main Street):
(more coming as they go live!)