Care Package Ideas For Soldiers
Care Packages are one of the reasons I don't mind a deployment so much. I am able to still send my husband a box full of the good stuff from home and he is able to still be a part of home with it. Although it could take up to 6 weeks for them to get one package it is still worth the money and time spent on one.
So what kind of items should you put in a care package? Well it can be anything, including food, toys, games, books, paper and pens, self addressed stamped envelopes, hygiene stuff, really it can be anything (as long as it's not illegal to put it through the postal service of course). It can't contain liquids, no alcohol, no handguns, no hazardous materials, etc.
I just put a box together to mail to my husband and here's what it had in it:
- Two sets of darts (it's super easy to make a dart board over there if they don't have one already and it is something that helps pass the time).
- Peanut Butter (healthy snack)
- Protein Bars (these are easy to take on the road with you and make for good healthy meals)
- Pictures and letters from the kids
- Letter from me (of course)
- Self addressed envelopes with the stamps so all he has to do is put them in the mail pick up spot.
- Small items from the kids
- Paper and pens
- Luffa and other hygiene stuff
Some of my favorite things I have sent my husband are:
- The real detailed Lego guys (as it passes time and gives him something to do)
- Computer games for his laptop (because they don't always have Internet or TV for video gaming)
- Remote control helicopters (these are a HUGE hit with all the guys over there)
- Decks of cards (always send more then one)
- Electronic hand held games
- Word Puzzle Books
- Paperback Books
Food is always a bonus to send overseas. The chow hall doesn't always have the best food and so getting a decent meal sometimes is hard. Here's a list of some food to send:
- Beef Jerky
- Candy Bars that won't melt
- Fruit Snacks
- Granola Bars
- Sunflower Seeds
- Ramen Noodles
- Potato Chips
- Girl Scout Cookies (are always a huge hit)
- The small single servings of food that go in the microwave (make sure they have a microwave first). These are small and usually really light weight so it doesn't cost much to ship a bunch and it's good food.
- Brownie and Cake mix that you just add water too (my hubby likes to eat the batter LOL)
Homemade snacks are kind of hard to send because some things will go bad before the package reaches it's soldier. I have found that puppy chow (muddy buddy mix) lasts quiet a while in an air tight container. I used one with a screw on lid. His mom has mailed him cookies and brownies that were hard enough to use for target practice by the time he got them. Because of this I don't really suggest sending homemade snacks or things that can rot.
When sending a package to any soldier over seas, one that is not family or someone you don't know, you can always include:
- body powder
- pens and pencils
- paper (lined and copy paper)
- word puzzle books
If it's around a holiday like Christmas or Valentine's Day be sure to send a package that is for those days. I like to send Christmas stockings filled to the top with goodies for soldiers. Candy, games, toys, etc. For Valentine's Day it is more of the "thinking of you" and "you are always in my thoughts/prayers" type of stuff. Maybe a "manly" stuffed animal or something for the males and females always like flowers and candy.
Links that send care packages
There are a lot of different places online that send care packages to people overseas. I have used the two listed below and they have done good for me. Normally whenever I want to send something to those overseas I wait until my husband is there as well and send a few extra packages to him that he passes out to everyone else he is there with. I know it brings a smile to their faces and helps pass the time.
- OperationGratitude - OperationGratitude
Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation. Their mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to face and express appreciation and support of the American People