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Military Care Package Tips & Tricks

The Signature Group is a team of real estate agents with Keller Williams Realty, passionate about connecting you to Fayetteville, North Carolina’s community and making Fort Bragg more than just a PCS.

We help buyers, sellers, and investors navigate the real estate process, and our expertise doesn’t stop there! We share our heart for our community through our blog and aim to highlight all of the positive aspects of America’s Hometown.

Most of our team are family members and spouses of service members. We have sent our fair share of care packages over the years! Whether you are new to the process or are looking for fresh ideas, we got you. Here are our tips and tricks, suggested items to send, and even cute crafty ideas.

First off, did you know that you can get a FREE military care package kit from the post office? Click here.

You can also pick up flat rate shipping boxes at your local post office. Be sure to take the finished box into the office and avoid doing a pick up. This will save you money! You will need to fill out a customs form.

Pro tip: send small boxes, less than 10 pounds preferably, and do not send too many at one time.

How to know what to send.

  • If they ask, send it. The easiest way to find out what they want and need is to ask.
  • Smaller is better. Your service member typically will not have a lot of space to work with.
  • Single serving snacks are great. They are easier to store and keep fresh.
  • Keep your service member in mind. Send them things that remind them of home, like local coffee or photos.

Quick ideas:

  • Beef jerky or other protein. Protein bars. Non perishables are best.
  • Baked goods. Saran wrap them together in small quantities and place in ziplock bags with a little air. Avoid chocolate during the hot months, and ONLY send to people you know personally. Soldiers are told to throw away anything not in factory packaging.
  • Air fresheners.
  • Hand warmers.
  • Bluetooth headphones.
  • Homemade artwork from the kids.
  • Send them something that smells like you or home. Seal it in a ziplock bag so that it doesn’t affect the food you send, and so that they can seal in the smell.
  • A deck of cards.
  • Puzzle books.
  • Shoe inserts.
  • Writing materials or a journal. Service members will often keep a written journal when on deployment.
  • Toiletries (travel size works great). They may not have access to their favorite brands overseas. Lip balm, deodorant, foot powder, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, unscented body wipes, sunscreen, etc. Nothing in an aerosol can.
  • Lens cleaning cloths and small bottles of glass cleaner. These are great if your service member’s goggles are often clouded by dirt and sand.
  • Travel size medicine.
  • DVDs of shows or movies. The Office, Parks and Recreation, etc. You can also send these on a thumb drive. The less space they take up, the better.
  • Powdered drink mixes.
  • Reading material, magazines or books. You could even send them a Kindle to save space.
  • Candy or gum. Be aware that items may melt in the hot months.
  • Snacks. Non perishables are best. Trail mix, sunflower seeds, Pringles, cookies, etc.
  • Photographs of home.
  • Visa gift cards.
  • Protein mixer bottles/shakers.
  • Sticky wall hooks.

Most importantly, be sure to send a personal note.

Get a little creative.

Themed care packages are extra fun. You can center it around sports (like the super bowl), the holidays, working out, or you can even color code it (example: all green for St. Patty’s). Even decorating the inside of the box is an awesome way to truly speak to your service member’s heart.

How to cover the box flap covers

Pick up some

  • Wrapping paper
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Construction paper
  • Patterned duct tape

Glue them to the inside of the box! If you want to do more decorating, try cutting your background to the correct size and decorating further before gluing it to the box flap. Option: cover the completed decorations with clear packing tape so that nothing will fall off or move.

Related Post: 25 ways to embrace Valentine’s Day when your spouse is deployed

Creative box ideas:

  • The Holidays. Send them Christmas in a box (Hobby Lobby as tiny trees and tiny accessories), Valentine’s Day, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving in a box, etc.
  • Their birthday. Complete with a microwavable dessert, candles (electronic ones won’t melt), a banner, small balloons, and a birthday hat.
  • Night at the movies. Include movie snacks and DVDs. You could theme the whole thing around their favorite movie.
  • Gone fishing. Send them Swedish Fish, gummy worms, Goldfish crackers, and dollar store fishing games.

A few ways to outsource

If you find yourself short on time or overwhelmed, and you still want to show your love through a care package, check out these options:

You can also often ship things directly from Amazon.

Finally, be aware that it might take a while for your care package to reach your service member. It may get damaged or sit in a storage container for a period of time.

For more notes, tips and tricks, what to send, and to hear what the troops have to say, click here.

Have you and your family sent a care package to a service member before? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like to let us know, and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already. We put out blog posts like this one every month!

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