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Old 08-02-2013, 03:32 PM   #1
MissMichigan
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Care Package Idea Share

Thought it might be a good idea to get a tread together where we can share our ideas for care packages for our deployed loved ones. What have you sent? What would you like to send? And cool ideas you've heard about?

I tend to go with themes, because I'm a big cheese-ball. I also try to always send something I baked. *tip for sending baked goods: package them in Glad disposable tupperware, then wrap the whole thing tightly in that press & seal wrap. always got there fresh!*

Halloween: some little decorations (like plastic spiders, etc), of course lots of candy, pumpkin/bat shaped cookies, halloween themed boxers, etc.

Thanksgiving: apple cider mix, pumpkin flavored cookies, instant stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, instant gravy, craisins, a little football, etc.

Christmas: little decorations, a card, candy canes, hot cocoa mix, snowball snack cakes, a few small gifts, cookies or brownies with red & green sprinkles

Valentines: conversation hearts, heart boxers, red hots, candy, etc

St. Patricks: single serve lucky charms, chocolate coins, I was lucky enough to find bags of all-green M&M's

Random stuff that seems to go over well: deck of cards, water balloons, gum, sunflower seeds, and anything they can share easily.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
PrincessJo
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I adopted a platoon last year. They requested Girl Scout Cookies, so I ordered a couple hundred dollars worth of cookies, after which the girls looked at me like I was crazy... so I had to explain.

The girls ended up making a huge card for the soldiers and they all signed it so I sent that with the cookies. It was fantastic!!

After questioning another soldier about what he missed about Texas, he said the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders!! So I actually wrote a letter to the cheerleaders about how I had adopted a soldier and how much he loved them. They actually sent me a huge picture of all of them and 6 of them signed it with hugs and kisses. They also sent one to me with my name on it thanking ME for what I had done... the was the nicest thing ever.

Most of the time when I'd ask for something and explained that it was for soldiers, most people were eager to help.

Those are my two happy stories As far as I'm concerned, we can't do enough for them over there. I'd adopt them all if I could
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:50 PM   #3
crazyme5kids
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What type of baked goos have you sent? I know cookies would stay relatively fresh, but how about muffins etc...? I really like your theme idea. I'l have to start doing that for the holidays.

I've sent my son things he's asked for, like shaving cream and tissues, magazines, trail mix, jerky (yuck!), those crackers with cheese or peanut butter, cookies, dried fruit that he likes. Also salsa and chips, he said everyone enjoyed eating that. I sent brownies from Costco. I also sent water balloons in the last package.

What type of gifts do you recommend for Christmas? I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what to send him.
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:15 PM   #4
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What type of baked goos have you sent? I know cookies would stay relatively fresh, but how about muffins etc...? I really like your theme idea. I'l have to start doing that for the holidays.

I've sent my son things he's asked for, like shaving cream and tissues, magazines, trail mix, jerky (yuck!), those crackers with cheese or peanut butter, cookies, dried fruit that he likes. Also salsa and chips, he said everyone enjoyed eating that. I sent brownies from Costco. I also sent water balloons in the last package.

What type of gifts do you recommend for Christmas? I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what to send him.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
MissMichigan
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So far, I've sent a few different kinds of cookies, brownies, shortbread, and cupcakes (with a tub of frosting, of course!)
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
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Food/Snack Items
Beef/turkey jerky
Ham, chicken or tuna salad lunch kits (includes the can of meat, crackers, mayo, relish, and little spoon)
Cans/sealed packages of chicken, ham, or tuna in a bag (little packets of mayo can be found at gas stations to send along)
Crackers including soda, salad, and Ritz
Small summer sausage
Pasta buckets
Cans of soup with pop tops
Tabasco sauce or bbq sauce
Hard candy
Little Debbie snacks
Cans of chips such as Torengos or Pringles
Plastic bowls or cans of dips including salsa, cheese dip, and bean dip
Granola/cereal bars
Lunch box sized packets of cookies, cheese nips, cheese &cracker/breadsticks
Good coffee or cocoa
Juice boxes off the shelf not the cold section
Pre-sweetened drink mix like kool-aid, tea, lemonade, or Gatorade

General Items
Boxes of holiday greeting cards unsigned
Envelopes, paper, and pens
DVD’s—blank and with programs
Cd’s—blank and recorded
AA batteries
Int’l phone cards (best found at post office)
Magazines and local news papers
Disposable cameras if applicable
White athletic socks
Good toilet paper
Deck of cards
Handheld/travel size games
Frisbees
Athletic equipment like basketball, football, and soccer
Board games
Books/books on cd

“Theme Boxes”
Holiday boxes including funny or cute decorations
Stocking filled in a box
Coffee/cocoa box (include things like biscotti, cookies, or flavorings with the coffee)
Birthday box
Movie night box (sweets, a dvd movie, microwave popcorn and whatever else sounds good)


I would not send anything chocolate right now with it being so hot. Don't forget to use the APO flat rate boxes and you can order the kits online with the tape, boxes and forms on the post office website.

Remember also that it takes a variety of time to for each military member to receive a box depending where they are in the world and what is working for one family may not work for another family.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:36 AM   #7
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The best thing to do if you personally know the soldier is to ask what they need.

I had sooo many fun boxes planned out for DH before he left. He typically stays on a FOB (base) and they get TONS of stuff sent to them by different groups. In the main office they had bins of snacks, toiletries, etc they could go in and grab. Since DH was on a diet this deployment I ended up not being able to send many things at all.

The themed boxes I did do- (and I always decorated the box with the theme)

"Baby its cold outside"- I wrapped each thing up and attched a "clue" to the outside. Blanket "to keep your body warm", thermos "to keep your drinks warm", boxers "to keep your balls warm" I also threw in some chapstick, hot chocolate, hot sauce, and a few other things. Aall had notes attached.

Valentines day - The main thing in this box was a bag o f Reese's hearts and each one I'd attached a slip of paper with a "Reese-on" I loved him. Some were sweet, some were funny "We make really cute kids". Also sent some "smash balloons" . The $ tree usually has packs around holidays. They come flat then you smck them and they fill with air. I sent a ton and all the guys loved them

DH ask for a camera so I bought him one and sent it in a "say-Cheese" themed box (everything was cheese flavored).
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #8
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Ok, here is a request I just got from my son and I am hoping someone here can help me out with it. Safari type shirt and pants that look neat and presentable to wear in the desert (not black or dark blue)? I have no idea why he wants or needs this style . My version of safari may be different from a Soldiers version of safari, so any help would be appreciated.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyme5kids View Post
Ok, here is a request I just got from my son and I am hoping someone here can help me out with it. Safari type shirt and pants that look neat and presentable to wear in the desert (not black or dark blue)? I have no idea why he wants or needs this style . My version of safari may be different from a Soldiers version of safari, so any help would be appreciated.
Okay your son is probably going either into towns or he is going to get a little get away somewhere else where he can wear something other than uniforms.
I had this request a couple years ago from my husband as well. I sent 2cargo pants, 2 cargo shorts, and several moisture wicking shirts from under armor. I sent a couple shirts with collars, one long sleeve shirt, and couple normal shirts. I also sent a pair of swim trunks just in case.

Just send some plain colored khaki stuff essentially is the answer. It'll probably get dirty or sandy so I wouldn't go all out. My husband ended up lending his stuff out to a couple either guys so at least I didn't spend all that money for a one time use.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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The 2 boxes that were the biggest hit were a box of Nerf guns with extra foam bullets and a flat rate box holding 17 lbs of M&Ms (sent in the Fall)

I would ask what they want/need before just sending stuff over. One of my friends requested toys and shoes for the soldiers to hand out to the local children. Deflated soccer balls and a pump, water balloons, balloons to make balloon animals, flip flops, beanie babies, etc...
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
FLCyndi
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Care packages for my son always include our local newspaper.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:02 PM   #12
crazyme5kids
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I just sent out a package for my son. He called and said that they (his unit/ group whoever they are) asked if I would send stuff to make pizza with. He said they have flatbread to use, so I sent out all kinds of topping stuff, some sauce and spices.

Just for fun, I also sent a table top charcoal grill and a bag of regular, not self starting, charcoal, plus the grilling utensils. The postman thought the charcoal would be ok, so we'll see.
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:39 PM   #13
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I have sent out sauce packets from Taco Bell, Arby’s, Famous Dave’s BBQ. Starbucks cups with lids (it was fun for my DH to walk around with those cups), I just asked for some small cups with lids and why I wanted them and the gal gave me about 7 or so. I make card candy and send it out. I order freezer pops and have Amazon mail them out. Not all offices have freezers but I bet they would be good for trading. Silly Puddy, water guns, fast food kids meal toys, matchbox cars, beach balls, and other silly toys.
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