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Care Package Ideas For Soldiers

Updated on February 19, 2014

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)
  • Vitamins
  • 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

2 of the 3 helicopters I sent the hubby overseas.
2 of the 3 helicopters I sent the hubby overseas. | Source

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
  • Crackers
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Gum
  • 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:

  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • q-tips
  • deodorant
  • body powder
  • pens and pencils
  • paper (lined and copy paper)
  • word puzzle books
  • cards
  • dice
  • magazines

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.


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    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      MomsTreasureChest - I'm glad you like my suggestions and hope they come in useful for you and those you love! Thanks for stopping by and the comment :)

    • MomsTreasureChest profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for the great suggestions and first-hand information!

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      K - I am sure he would have enjoyed any mail he got :) Thanks for the votes and the comment!

    • krsharp05 profile image

      Kristi Sharp 

      7 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      CassyLu, this is a great idea for a hub. My oldest brother is a Marine and did two tours in Iraq. I know that he would have loved receiving special care packages. Thanks for putting this together. Voted up! -K

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      teaches12345 - I'm glad you are able to use this Hub. Care Packages sure do make life a little easier for anyone who receives them! Thanks for stopping by and the comment :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      This is just awesome! I have a couple of family members who just joined and are deployed. These ideas will help me when I am out shopping for the next care package. What a great hub post. Vote up and shared.

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      leahlefler - The darts this time around I think are going to be the biggest hit. The helicopters were of course the best and legos would keep them all busy for hours! It never really occured to me that homemade treats wouldn't do good either until I tried it. My hubby never said anything about my cookies and such not making it (because he didn't want to hurt my feelings) but after I found out about his moms the truth came out LOL Thanks for stopping by and the comment :)

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      coffeegginmyrice - That is incredible that you send all those wonderful things to all the people in the Philippines. This Care Package hub can be ideas for anyone, not just soldiers. Thanks so much for your comment :)

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      7 years ago from Western New York

      What a great list, CassyLu! I would have never thought about sending darts or things like cake mix. The helicopter idea is fantastic (as is the Lego idea - love it)! I'm also glad you included the advice to not send homemade treats. I would have never realized they didn't keep well - it is better to send things that will still be fresh when they get to where the soldier is stationed!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      A very thoughtful idea. Though there is no soldier in my family, I have been packing boxes yearly (if $s) allow to the Philippines. I would ask my ma if there are others she would like to give a little something. Then she'll say- please include for the mailman, the 2 loyal factory workers, her 'buddy-buddy' (a boy who helps her with lifting up heavy cases of softdrinks for her store), and to the little neighbourhood children. The used children's books that I had passed on from my kids, my ma have donated them to a small town public school. I was so happy for what she did, but one day the school got burned, so went the books too.

      You are very thoughtful not just for your hubby who is far away from home, but you have included those others who might benefit little presents from you. That would truly make one heart so happy! Awesome hub! Cheers to you CassyLu!

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      RTalloni - Hopefully these ideas will give many people great ideas for the holidays coming up. Even halloween, send some face paint, a wig or two, a scary mask, and the guys can run around scaring people LOL There are so many options for care packages that keep the soldiers thinking of home. Thanks for stopping by and the comment!

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      tammyswallow - magazines are always a big hit. You can pass them around and even though they become "old" the stuff in them is normally good stuff. I'm glad you liked the helicopter idea :) It was a huge hit as well! Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You've put together some great ideas for soldiers' care packages with super advice and tips. So glad to see this posted just in time to prepare for the holidays.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina

      These are great suggestions. I used to send these to my brother every time he was stationed in Afghanistan. He really liked modern magazines with cars and entertainment too. He would have LOVED it if I sent the helicopter. Great suggestion!

    • CassyLu1981 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      billybuc - We did the same thing in my Child Care class and with Girl Scouts :) It was always fun finding new stuff for the boxes! Thanks for the comment :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great suggestions! We used to put together packages in my classroom when I taught school....very worthwhile service project.


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