Recently I have been looking for any and all information on sending care packages to my soldier. I came upon this blog: Some Soldier's Mom She was very informational and has some GREAT ideas for care packages. Read them first then I will pick back up towards the end of my post....see ya in a few!
I know a lot of people that read my blog either have family or friends in the military or have an interest in them and/or have adopted soldiers serving overseas... So I offer this list from a private chat group for families of 3ID soldiers. Some will evoke smiles and others are just plain fun and bound to bring a smile to your soldier.
If you really do SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, here are some places you might want to visit to lend a hand:
Adopt a Sniper
Adopt a Soldier
Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Foster Care for Military Pets
Helmets to Hardhats
Wounded Warrior Project
"Surviving the Sandstorms"- Eye wash; Nasal spray; Chap stick; Bandana; goggles/sun glasses; etc
"Laundry Load"- Laundry soap ('sample size' or Tide tablets kind) to pack in with their clothes..in case there are no washers/dryers; Fabric softener sheets; clean socks and undershirts; Febreeze or All refresher fabric sprays
"Lotta Java"- Tea; Cocoa; Coffee singles; creamer; sugar; International Coffee tins; cookies for dunking in coffee
"Thanks a Million!!"- Things that may "seem" expensive. Ex: Grey Poupon; electronic game of "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" - small amount of cash; wrap items in green tissue paper.
"Hang in There!"- Stuffed animal monkey; Banana bread; Banana chips; Banana pudding (the kind that doesn't have to be refrigerated); Monkey's in a Barrel game; card with a monkey on it.
"A Day at the Beach!"- sunscreen; beach towel; beach snacks; flip flop sandals (shower shoes); aloe vera gel;
"Medicine Cabinet"- aspirin; band-aids; Neosporin cream; A&D ointment; cold medicine; alka seltzer; Rolaids; etc.
"Staying Healthy"- nutrition/health bars (ex: Power bar; Tigers Milk; Myoplex); vitamins; Nutri-grain bars; Gatorade or other sports drink (to stay hydrated);
"MRE/Mess Hall Survival Kit"- restaurant size condiment packs of: BBQsauce, mustard, ketchup, mayo, relish, salt. Pepper, taco sauce, ranch, cheese in a can dip, etc
"Correspondence Carton"- notebook paper; stationery; pens; pencils; stickers (who knows they may even play with these!!); envelopes, address book (filled out already of course); camera (with a note to send back onceit is full);
"Action Heroes"- Power bars; squirt guns; Red Bull drinks; small Army figurines; comic books; Gatorade; Red Bull drinks; etc
"To Be A Kid Again"- silly string; bubbles; small bouncy balls; hacky sacks; brain teaser toys (rubix cube, etc); deck of cards; dominoes; slinky, Frisbee's; Pez w/ dispenser; Nerf balls; sand box toys (pail, small shovel, etc);
"Bathroom in a Box"- TOILET PAPER!!! (the soft stuff); razor refills; foot powder; bars of soap; fresh, clean, soft washcloth; travel size shampoo/conditioner; toothpaste; toothbrush; etc
"Ruck Sack Snack Pack"- packed full of your loved one's favorite snacks ... possibilities endless. Doritos; M&M's; nuts; chips; dips; crackers; jelly beans; beef jerky; gum; etc. (but don't send any chocolate in the summer!)
"Breakfast on the GO"- mutrigrain bars; instant oatmeal cups; small boxes of cereal; pop tarts; Hostess donuts: Otis Spunk Meyer muffins; cocoa; coffee; Tang; cereal bars
"Tube O Tasties"- Just as something different, send a package in a tube instead of a square box. Make sure the parameters are acceptable though.
"Stress Reliever"- back scratcher; bubble wrap; yo-yo's; bubbles; squeezy tension ball; nerf stuff
"Sloppy Kisses"- send a bunch of Hershey's kisses. Bound to be "sloppy kisses!" (forget this in the summer... it's a mess!)
"I'm Nuts About You"- peanuts; cashews; pistachios; peanut butter cookies; any candy or cookies with nuts in them; Nutter Butter's; Peanut Lover's Chex mix; Fiddle Faddle with peanuts, CrackerJacks
"Rock On" or "Charlie ROCK"- pop rocks; music cd's
"Chili Today, Hot Tamale"- hot tamales (candy); small cans of chili; red pepper flakes (like the ones at pizza parlors); salsa sunflower seeds; Cajun flavor Pringles; Spicy chex mix; Boston red hots; peppered beef jerky; taco bell hot sauce packets; Extreme Doritos; chili powder; nacho cheese sauce in a can; Tums/Rolaids, Jalapeño Ritz;
"And this little piggy went to the sandbox"- (foot care kit)- foot powder; Dr, Scholl's boot inserts; foot lotion; foot file; fresh, clean socks; toe nail clippers; scrub brush; odor eater balls for shoes/boots; foot soaks (either include a small bucket or large Ziploc bags to soak feet it)
"How do you eat your OREOS??!!"- regular Oreos; peanut butter Oreos; double stuff Oreos; low fat Oreos; chocolate filled Oreos; chocolate covered Oreos; holiday Oreos
"Muchas Gracias. Nachos Supreme"- Doritos &/or Fritos &/or any corn tortilla chips; Mexican Velveeta; salsa (wrapped in bubble wrap); small can of olives (don't forget the can opener); bean dip; nacho cheese dip; small can of green chilies; jar of jalapeno's (wrapped in bubble wrap); taco seasoning; small paper plates or bowls (so they can make their nachos); taco sauce (especially easy are those condiment packets from Taco Bell); You could also send the sauces from the various Mexican dinner kits (they also have tortilla's in those dinner kits that are sealed so they would probably get there without molding or drying out); Taco Bell Nacho Supreme kit
"Sweet Tooth"- Nerds; Gummy Bears; Laffy Taffy; Bubble Gum; Tootsie Rolls; Lolli pops; (any candy that won't melt)
"Pamper Party" (for females)- Feminine hygiene products; shampoo/conditioner; hair barrettes and scrunchies (same color as their hair); facial scrub &/or soap; facial mask; lotion; shower gel; razors; facial moisturizer; tweezers; nail care kit; toner; special facial products (alpha hydroxy; eye cream; etc)
"Congrats on your promotion"- congratulation party favors; all your loved one's favorites snacks; sparkled cider (wrapped in bubble wrap of course); etc.
"For the Fisherman"- Goldfish crackers; tuna pouches; canned smoked salmon; cans of sardines; gummy worms; Go Fish card game; Field & Stream magazine; electronic fishing rod game; Sponge Bob Square Pants stuffed toy; fishing game toy (made by several different toy companies. Has a small fishing pole with a magnet on the end. Fish have magnets on their mouths)
"Say CHEEEESE!"- disposable cameras; cheese dip; Doritos; Cheetos; Cheesenips; Better Cheddars; Velveeta
"Kick Back & Relax"- Dominoes; playing cards; magazines; books; music cd's; crossword puzzles; jigsaw puzzles; word searches; hand held electronic games; squirt guns; water balloons; bubbles; hacky sacks; Nerf balls; board games (Axis & Allies, Clue, Trivial Pursuit, etc)
"Christmas in July"- wrap everything in Christmas wrapping paper; peppermint flavored hard candies
"Italian Stallion"- Italian cheese Ghardetto's; Pizza-licious Pringles; Pepperoni pizza Combo's; small Boboli pizza bread; pizza sauce (for dipping Boboli); canned Ravioli, spaghetti, lasagna, etc.
"American Classics"- Pez with dispensers; Cracker Jacks; Lifesavers; NeccoWafers; Pop Rocks; Nerds; Good & Plenty; Candy Necklaces; Candy cigarettes
And if you are sending things to Iraq and Afghanistan and you haven't discovered FLAT RATE BOXES... get them from the Post Office -- no matter how much you stuff in these boxes (about the size of a medium FedEx box) -- it's one price to mail! Don't pay for priority mail for things you send either, they don't get to NY any faster (which is where all APO mail goes to).