The groups participating come from churches, synagogues, businesses and other enterprises/organizations. Some of the volunteers are not even from the United States. In fact, Adopt-A-Soldier has members from 52 countries. This defies the stereotype that everyone hates the United States.
So, what do these volunteers actually send out to troops overseas? The care packages usually contain a variety of items ranging from snack foods to even entertainment products. Each servicemen or woman that receives a care package is considered to be adopted by members of the organization.
In terms of the reasoning behind the organization, Ms. Johnson started it because she wanted to help boost the morale of her son, Paul, who had been deployed to Iraq. Her concern grew to all of the 175 soldiers in his unit, though it was hard trying to send care packages to so many people by herself. Therefore, she expanded her efforts to include outside volunteers. This process was jumpstarted when the media televised her efforts on January 10, 2005.
After her organization became televised, Johnson received hundreds of emails. During the first day her efforts were televised, she had 600 responses of people that wanted to adopt a serviceperson. And from that 600, the number of volunteers has grown to several thousand.
Johnson hopes that her program can grow even more. She constantly ponders on ways she can increase her networking and the Adopt-a-Soldier experience in general. An example is her consideration of welcome home parties for soldiers who do get adopted.