Each year, as the holidays get closer, many military families are looking into what they can send to their deployed family members and loved ones. Getting a care package from home can be a fantastic booster to morale, and is something that many servicemembers look forward to. Selecting good things for your loved one is very much appreciated, and while anything you send can be appreciated, some things are more valuable than others. Also, it is essential to note that some items cannot be sent at all. By knowing the ins and outs, you can make sure that your package will get to your loved one efficiently and in time for the holidays.
What Can You Send?
Looking at the list of things you cannot send is a fantastic way to determine what you can send. Just because you can send something, however, does not mean that you shouldn’t research some of the more beneficial and well-liked things. One of these things is powdered drink mix. Anything that can be mixed with water is a fantastic choice for most military members. This includes things like fruit punch and lemonade for the summer and hot chocolate and tea for the winter. Some military members absolutely love coffee, and powdered coffee can be another fantastic choice. Ask them if they like creamer in their coffee if you don’t already know.
In addition, things that can be mixed with Meals Ready to Eat can be a fantastic choice. This can include things like spices, hot sauce, ketchup, Ramen, relish, and more. Protein bars and other sources of protein can also be fantastic, but make sure that meat is labeled with a USDA label. Different types of snack foods not involving protein can also be an excellent option. Find smaller hard containers for things like pretzels, nuts, and chips. Smaller containers are easier to carry than larger containers, and bags are more likely to burst under high pressure. If larger bags must be sent, also send along smaller Ziploc bags to help the servicemember more easily transport the snacks. Snacks can include candy, as well as gum, but avoiding chocolate is important if the service member is in a warmer climate or moving around a lot.
What Can’t You Send?
There are many items people should not send as well. Keep in mind that if people are in the Middle East or Persian Gulf areas, you should avoid sending things that will offend people of the Islamic faith, including pork or pork byproducts. In addition, obscene materials, alcohol, or non-authorized political materials should also be avoided. Take some time to check with your Key Volunteer or command family support group point of contact for details on restrictions. Lithium batteries also cannot be sent, something to be aware of.
What Do Military Members Want Most In Packages?
In addition to the things above, items like disposable hand warmers, toiletries, baby wipes, and other personal care items can be fantastic gifts and are very well appreciated. In addition, socks and underwear, as well as fingerless gloves and stocking caps, depending on the weather, can be a great idea. Reading material, word games, and other types of games can also be well received. This can include things like portable media players, but don’t forget to send batteries as well. Batteries, in general, can be handy, but keep in mind that you cannot ship lithium-ion batteries. Reminders of home are also fantastic to send along, but try not to send too many things that need to be transported. Lastly, make sure to avoid breakable items or things that might be considered too personal. If a picture could be embarrassing, you may want to check in with the servicemember before sending it. Also, take care to avoid scents of any type, unless asked for.
How To Send Care Packs
To send packages, there are special forms that you will need to fill out before shipping. Asking the Postal Service worker, or researching more here online to learn the correct format for filling out forms is essential. Make sure to keep a list of everything you have included in the box so that you can fill the paperwork out accurately. The list should consist of the specific number of each item you are sending. If you’re sending three books, do not just write books, but write three books.
Send out the package much earlier than necessary, if possible. Priority shipping can help in last-minute cases, but it does not get the package all the way to the military base residence. It can still take a bit of time for the package to get there. It can also be a lot more expensive to mail a package priority mail overseas. Whenever possible, try and avoid sending large packages. It can be more difficult to get larger packages to your loved one, it can be more costly, and it can take longer to get there.
Sending a care package to your loved ones overseas is a fantastic way to show your love and boost their morale. By following the advice in this article, your package cannot only get there efficiently but on or before the holidays.