Although I never served, several close friends have served. I am eternally grateful for their service, and I do support the our troops in various activities. One way I chose to say thanks was by having my Girl Scout troop adopt a solider.
Last year, we sent two care packages along with a box full of Girl Scout cookies for our solider. We also sent an Adopt a Soldier patch for him, and we got a picture of him holding it in full gear. The girls loved seeing a picture of him!
|Our adopted soldier holding a Girl Scout patch.|
If you'd like to say thanks, here are some tips to help you create a care package for helping veterans.
Packing the Box
USPS has a large flat rate box with a special rate for military addresses. If you are sending heavy items, this will probably be cheaper. If your items are light, weight-based Priority mail may be cheaper.
It's a good idea to include a list of the contents inside the box. This should also have the recipient's name and your name in case the box gets opened during shipment.
If you have items that can leak, pack them in separate zip top bags. The recipient can probably use the bags for other things if they are clean.
If you are sending items to a hot climate in the summer, don't send perishable foods. The temperature can rise quickly during transport, which can ruin some foods.
Items to Include in a Care Package
These are popular items to include:
- Powdered drink mixes take up relatively little space. In the winter, hot chocolate and tea bags are good choices. In the summer, lemonade and sports drink mixes are good options.
- Food items that can be mixed with MREs are usually welcome. This includes packages of ketchup, mustard, seasoning salt, ramen noodles, and hot sauce.
- Protein like tuna, beef jerky, and energy bars are usually needed.
- Snacks in hard containers like nuts, chips, and pretzels. Cookies and cheese crackers are popular too.
- Chocolate can melt in a warm climate, but it is usually a popular gift Small candies are also good, but send them in a zip top bag in case they melt.
- Don't send aerosol cans.
- Baby wipes, lip balm, sample size lotions, pain relievers, and eye drops are good to include.
- Disposable hand warmers are a good idea if the solider is in a cold climate.
- Fingerless gloves, long underwear, and stocking hats are good for those in a cold climate.
- Comic books, magazines, word searches, puzzles, and paperback books are good for any down time.
- AA and D batteries are always needed.
- Stamps, envelops, pens, pencils, and notepaper for writing home.
What Not to Send
Service members in the Persian Gulf or Middle East can not receive anything that would offend those of the Islamic faith.
Direct Energy is also giving back to soldiers with their new Military Portal. When users log in, they can find discounted energy rates for their home. If they are a Direct Energy customer, they get to enroll in the refer a friend program, on-time bill payment rewards program, and online account manager.
There are plans available in different areas, so go check it out to see if you're eligible!