Care packages and the military are so closely linked that most folks probably view them as going hand-in-hand. They aren’t wrong: deployed troops probably receive the majority of care packages. But once you get into the rhythm of sending care packages, you start to realize just how many people in your life could benefit from one!#carepackages don't have to be just for the #military. There are so many people in your life who would benefit from a #carepackage. Click To Tweet
5 Groups Who Need Care Packages
Those first few weeks of freshman year of college are tough. For many, it’s the first extended period of time they’ve been away from home and feelings of homesickness can quickly take hold. A taste of home, an encouraging card, a funny note would be a welcome find in just about any mailbox. This is the perfect opportunity to send a care package!
What to send: homemade food or baked goods (depending on the distance/travel time), letters from family at home, photos, favorite snacks or drinks and maybe even a few study aides.
Much like military personnel, missionaries can be away from home for extended periods of time. Depending on where their mission takes them, they may not have access to many of the comforts of home. Sending a few here and there is a perfect way to support them.
What to send: Similar to military care packages, missionary care packages are best if they include things the recipient loves. Snacks, music or books are great things to send. You could also include practical things like clothing, mini alarm clocks, sewing kits and toiletries.
Show me a new parent who feels completely in control of everything happening in their life and I will show you B’s new talent: pulling coins out of Roogie’s ears. Bottom line is that new parents would definitely appreciate a care package.
What to send: Baby necessities (like diapers and wipes) are great and will be appreciated, but consider sending things that are more for the parents. Maybe it’s a pre-cooked dinner or a gift card for take out to ease the burden at dinnertime. Extra coffee, a new movie to watch when the baby won’t sleep, pain relievers for the headaches that will come and maybe an adult beverage or two would be very welcome.
If you’re in a military family, odds are you’ve experienced new neighbors (or been the new neighbors yourself) a few times. Imagine how much easier those first few days in a new place would be if people reached out immediately to welcome you. What better way to meet new people than by showing up with presents?
What to send: A pre-made meal is a nice option, but ingredients to make a meal may be safer, especially if you don’t know their tastes/dietary restrictions. Cleaning supplies, a gift card to your favorite restaurant in town, tips on the best eats and activities and a welcome note are also great additions. Check out my post on PCS care packages for more ideas.
Those in need
Whether they’re sick, injured or just went through a natural disaster, there are so many people who could benefit from a little extra love. Obviously the key here is to send things the recipient can actually use in the present moment so contents would change based on each situation. Make sure to think practically when you pack this care package. While very thoughtful, oven-ready meals won’t do someone much good if they don’t have access to an oven.
Bonus: Military spouses
On one hand, this is the most obvious group to need a care package, but they often get overlooked. Take it from me, deployments (or even shorter term separations) are difficult and sometimes there can be very few bright spots. But getting notes in the mail or a basket of cookies on the porch are definitely bright spots.
What to send: an encouraging note, a gift card for a meal, a coupon to babysit little ones, a relaxing candle, some chocolate and maybe even a bottle of wine. But really, it’s the thought that counts. Knowing that someone is thinking of you and recognizes that you’re going through a difficult time is so appreciated.
The beauty of care packages is that they allow you to give no matter how far you may be from someone. There’s a level of connection there that is hard to match when you’re separated. So many people in your life would benefit from a little extra love and care packages are perfect ways to share that.