Letters to Boot Camp: How Does Sandboxx Work

As parents, family, and friends of a current or future service member facing the biggest challenge of their life, we know how important it is for you to stay connected with your new recruit throughout boot camp, deployments and beyond. Because of this, we at Sandboxx take great care to ensure that your Letter gets from point A to point B as safely and quickly as possible, here’s how Sandboxx works.

We know that you have options – mainly, using Sandboxx or traditional “snail mail” – when it comes to getting your message into the hands of your future service member. What is it about Sandboxx Letters that make them the best way to reach your recruit? We’re so glad you asked. Sandboxx Letters are…

  1. EASY. With Sandboxx, you can send a Letter directly from our app from the palm of your hand, wherever you are. We’ll then print it and deliver it.
  2. MEANINGFUL. Each Sandboxx Letter includes a custom message that you write, a color photo for a more personal touch, a card and a pre-addressed return envelope.
  3. FAST. We use FedEx to overnight ship Letters to many basic training bases.  Sandboxx Letters submitted by 5pm EST Monday through Friday arrive on base the next day.
  4. PRE-SORTED. We pre-sort all Letters that we send to base so that it gets through the mailroom, and into your recruit’s hands, faster.


How does Sandboxx work?

At Sandboxx, we employ a consistent “5-Check” process for each Letter that we send to ensure that the words you type and the pictures you take get delivered to your loved one worry-free. Here’s what you should expect the next time you use Sandboxx to send a Letter to your recruit or service member.

STEP 1: Drafting Your Letter

The Sandboxx app makes it as easy and convenient as possible to send a Letter from the palm of your hand, wherever you may be.

  1. First, you’ll want to open the Sandboxx app, and tap “Compose Letter.” If you’d like to see what you’ve written to your recruit or service member previously, you’ll be able to do so in the “Sent Letters” section of this screen.

2. Next, you’ll want to write your Letter. Each Sandboxx Letter includes room for a personalized, heartfelt message, as well as a photo. If you’ve got writer’s block or just don’t know what to send, read about what to write in your Letter to basic training. Need photo inspiration? Check out our top photos that are perfect for putting in your Letters for that extra motivation.

3. Once you’re done writing, hit Next, and select your recipient. You’ll be able to search for other Sandboxx users, input a new address, or select from a recent list of recipients. Be sure to verify that the address is correct before proceeding.

4. Next, verify that your address is correct. Sandboxx will print this address on the pre-addressed return envelope that we include in every Letter that you send, making it easy for your recruit to write back if and when they have the time to do so. Remember, recruits are extremely busy during boot camp and don’t have much free time so it may take some time before you hear back from them!

After confirming that your address is correct, you’ll also have the option of adding an Exchange gift card to your Letter for your recruit to use during specific, permissible times during boot camp, or once they’ve graduated.

5. Finally, confirm that your Letter order is good to go, and click Send. Once you send your Letter, it will be processed at our printing facility the same day if your order is completed before 5pm ET. Once it’s processed and shipped out, it will typically be delivered in the next two to three days. You can learn more about our processing and shipping processes below!

Step 2: 

As soon as you send your Letter via the Sandboxx app, we verify the address and correct any potential errors. We then print the Letter, and perform a print quality check to ensure the quality of the Letter and any photos you’ve chosen to include.

STEPS 3 & 4: Processing and Shipping

After each Letter is printed, we then use a machine that applies over 3,000 pounds of force to fold and seal it, and sort it by company for the Marines and Army, flight for the Air Force, or ship for the Navy. This marks our third check of the day, and allows us to ensure that each base is able to quickly distribute the Letters upon delivery.

STEP 5: Delivery

After we complete our last Letter print of the day at 5PM Eastern time, we check over the Letters again before putting them into boxes to ensure each Letter is shipped to the correct destination. Each box of 1,000 Letters is double-sealed and then dropped off at FedEx, our trusted shipping partner that makes sure that these important packages arrive at each base the following day.

Please note that a Letter with the delivery status of “Delivered” does not mean that your Letter has reached your recruit’s hands, but rather that your Letter has reached the mailroom on base and is waiting to be distributed to your recruit.

Every day, our rigorous process ensures thousands of Letters get delivered securely to bases around the country. In the time it takes to write a text message, you can confidently stay connected with your service member, ensuring they stay focused on the tasks ahead of them at basic training.

Mail call is one of the most highly anticipated times of day during basic training, and it’s no mystery why. Basic training is mentally and physically draining. At times, your recruit will think they won’t make it to graduation and may begin to doubt their original decision to join the military. As their support system, your Letters will play an integral role in keeping them motivated and encouraging them to keep charging throughout their entire boot camp journey.

Curious about what other users experienced while using Sandboxx? We’ve put together some Sandboxx Stories from users who relied on Sandboxx to help their recruits successfully graduate from basic training:

Or, if you’re ready, start sending Letters to deployed military members now.


Author: Brian at Sandboxx

I have long-standing military roots through my family, as my grandfather served in the Army as a pediatrician. Since then, I’ve become more actively involved with the military community thanks to my fiancé and partner of over six years, who is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, where he serves as a pediatric cardiologist. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Sandboxx team so that I can give back to such an important community and group of people.

35 thoughts

  1. Thank you for making this seemingly easy to allow my princess to know I am behind her 100% and I support her .

  2. Hi,
    My son is in Medical Hold in Lackland Airforce Base, can I use Sandboxx to get letters to him? He was suspossed to graduate Dec. 5th, now ?

  3. This seems like a great way to keep in touch with loved ones. I have one question though. I guess they can’t receive any mail at all until we get their address 10 days in?

    1. Lisa,

      You can start sending Letters as soon as you receive their address. If you don’t get that address until day 10 then you wouldn’t be able to send the Letter anywhere. We are working on ways to improve and get you addresses sooner.

      1. Yes, that is the part that stinks. My son’s birthday was November 3rd and I had no way to tell him happy birthday. I just got a phone call yesterday for the first time since he got there 3 weeks ago and he introduced me to this app and told me that some people had gotten letters 2 or 3 days in. I also bought my airfare before I found out about the app and that they can do your travel arrangements for you and you won’t be charged for changes. Everyone needs to know about this app I’m doing my part to spread it around Facebook.

  4. How do I know that my son is receiving his letters? His last name is misspelled here. Does it make any difference?

    1. Good afternoon, Rina. Sorry for the delayed response. Please reach out to our customer support team at support@sandboxx.us if you haven’t already. We would love to assist you. Thank you for using SANDBOXX.

  5. Good morning,

    I sent my first letter yesterday; however, it does not appear in my letters folder. Will it appear once it’s received or should it appear automatically?

    1. Good afternoon, Tawana. Sorry for the delayed response. Please reach out to our customer support team at support@sandboxx.us. We would love to assist you with this if you haven’t reached out yet. Thank you for using SANDBOXX.

  6. My recruit is on Parris Island. He has been in MRP since the middle of December. I send snail mail along with an occasional Sandboxx. All of my Sandboxx mail has the status as delivered. Today, I received an “undeliverable” Sandboxx lett back. It was dated 11/16/18 and tracking says delivered. Sandboxx is quite pricey and I expect it to be better than snail mail as we are paying for a service. Why was my letter not delivered yet marked delivered? Why am I just now 12/7/18 receiving this notice? I feel that I deserve a refund.

    1. Hi, Lisa. We’re sorry to hear this. Were your Sandboxx letters addressed to the Medical Address? We don’t get notified of address changes so unless you reached out and let us know that his address had changed, letters would be sent to the old address. Unfortunately, even though those letters are supposed to be forwarded, we know that it does not always happen and they get returned to sender. We’re always happy to update letters with the correct address and resend them. Please email happiness@sandboxx.us for more detailed assistance. We hope to hear from you soon.

  7. I used this app to send a letter to my older sister but for some reason it ended up it my house (???) Maybe I made a mistake when sending it but I’m not sure.

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