You may be familiar with cool ties. They're long tubes of cotton fabric, into which you insert water-absorbing crystals. If soaked in water and tied around the neck, they can provide a little cooling action as the crystals evaporate, and they can be used over and over again. This is part of a batch going this weekend to my nephew David in Baghdad.
Here's the easy pattern. And if you want to make some for a soldier but you're hesitating because it's a hassle to get the little crystals, I will send you some. Seriously. I have a whole bag of the stuff, and each tie takes only about half a teaspoon. E-mail me: (annekenlonATstnyDOTrrDOTcom) with a mailing address and I'll send you enough for a nice batch of cool ties to send to someone you know, or to a program like The Ships Project.
Slippers, cool ties, or just a note or e-mail to say hello - just reach out and connect.