Do you have a service member in your family that needs some love this holiday season? Are you wondering what to put in military care packages? When I was little, my father was in the Naval Reserves. I have fond memories of him in his shiny black shoes and spiffy white hat. I was too young to understand much about war or what military men and women were dedicating themselves to. As an adult, I have a better understanding of the sacrifices of these brave men and woman. They dedicate so much of their lives to protecting and serving our nation and that commitment doesn’t get to take a Christmas vacation. One of the service projects that our church participates in is putting together military care packages for service men and women who are away from home for the holidays. If you have a loved one serving in the armed forces or just want to brighten a soldier’s day, I encourage you to create a few military care packages to send this holiday season. What should you put in them? I will include a few affiliate links to some military care package ideas that you may want to purchase.
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What to Put in Military Care Packages
Single-serve snacks like granola bars, beef jerky, trail mix, cookies, etc will help keep them fresher, longer. Avoid chocolate which has a tendency to melt. Include single packets of powdered drink mix or hot chocolate. They get awfully sick of plain old water all the time. A batch of homemade cookies would also be nice. You can package them in a Pringle’s container to protect them from breakage while shipping. When it comes to food, think durable and non-perishable.
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Wondering what to put in military care packages? It’s the little things that count! Soldiering is hot and sweaty work. You definitely need to include a few travel sized toiletry items in your military care packages. Include items such as a new toothbrush, shower gels, nice soaps, baby powder, chapstick, antacids, sunblock, batteries, stain remover stick, eye drops, baby wipes, travel pillow, gel insoles, T-shirts, underwear, and socks. Put everything in Ziplock baggies. It will keep them from leaking inside the box, help protect them from sand when they get there, and your soldier can use the baggies for other uses.
There is a lot of time to waste in the desert and not much to do. Include items in your military care package that will help pass the time. A Rubik’s Cube, a deck of cards, small Etch-a-sketch, 20 Questions or trivia cards, crossword/Sudoku puzzles, books, magazines, and favorite newspaper section will all make your soldier’s day more enjoyable! Do not send anything valuable in your military care packages. There is no guarantee that it will make it back home.
Letter writing supplies:
Just like they enjoy hearing from loved ones, we at home like to hear from them! Stationary is a must if you expect to get any letters from them. Send paper, envelopes, address labels, and pens, etc.
A Hand Written Note:
Know what to put in military care packages that service members really love? Nothing makes a day more enjoyable than getting a hand written note from home. Tell them not only about what is going on in your own family but fill them in on a few key current events. They don’t get to sit around much and watch the news or surf the web. Keep things light..no need to get into heavy topics currently in the news.
Having a loved one away for the holidays is tough and treating them to a few gifts from home is a great way to let them know they are in our hearts and minds. However, there are a lot of military service members that don’t have people at home pulling for them. Consider organizing a military care package service project through your church, neighborhood, school or scouting group and bring a smile to a soldier this year! Check out SupportOurTroops.org for more information.
Are you making any military care packages this year?
Need creative ideas for your care package? Try this!
Make a Tic-tac-toe Travel Game
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.