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October 23, 2015 / iDriveWarships

DIY: Best Care Package Ever

110221-N-ZN781-022 SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 21, 2011) Aviation ElectricianÕs Mate 2nd Class Ross Suchman, from Belleville, Ill., reads a letter aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) thanking him for his service from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor. Volunteers from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor sent more than 130 care packages and party supplies to Sailors assigned to the Saberhawks of Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron (HSM) 77. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Murphy/Released)Receiving a care package while deployed is like opening a much-anticipated gift when you’re a child. As soon as you hear your name at mail call and a box is thrown your way, you can’t help but get giddy from the promise of the goodies that are surely inside. So, in recognition of next Monday’s National Day of the Deployed, and in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, we present you with DIY: Best Care Package Ever.

  1. Create a list of all the stuff you think you might want to send your loved one. Next, edit the list based on where they’re deployed. It’s probably a bad idea to send things like candy or other things that melt to the Middle East. Service members who are deployed “boots on ground” might appreciate bug repellant bracelets while those deployed on a ship may have little need for them.
  2. Pick-up a box or two from the post office and gather all the things you want to send. Flat rate boxes are economical and can fit a ton of small items. You can either pay when you pick-up the box or when you send it – just make sure it gets stamped properly if you prepay. Deployments can be long, lonely, and akin to Groundhog Day, so think both practically and comically. However, remember to only send items that are appropriate, safe, and won’t cause problems for your deployed Sailor.
  3. OPTIONAL: Wrap the care package from the inside out like in this video. This makes it even more fun to open. You could use wrapping paper or comics from the newspaper.
  4. Where possible, remove items from bulky packaging so they’ll take up less 110221-N-ZN781-023 SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 21, 2011) Aviation ElectricianÕs Mate Airman David Coley, from Rocky Mount, N.C., reads a letter aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) thanking him for his service from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor. Volunteers from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor sent more than 130 care packages and party supplies to Sailors assigned to the Saberhawks of Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron (HSM) 77. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Murphy/Released)space in your shipping box. Consider sending separate packages for food and hygiene; receiving soap-coated candy would be a real bummer! If including both in one box, use plastic bags to sort everything and catch potential leaks. You may need to pack and repack the box a few times to maximize what you can send. Also, packing things from most-to-least important makes it easier to stop when the box is full. Don’t overstuff the box or the post office may refuse it. If you can’t fit everything save it for next time- another great reason to pick up more than one box at a time!
  5. Now seal up your box, send it on its way, and let your Sailor know it’s coming so they can look forward to mail call. Check out this [http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=91044] handy article for information on when to post things so they reach your loved ones before the holidays.

It’s never too early to start stashing items for your next care package and never too early to send another. It’s also nice to include a few small things that your Sailor can share with those who don’t receive a box of their own. Visit this website if you’d like to show your support for Sailors who don’t have someone back home who can send them a care package. You can also help through a host of other programs you can find online if you search “adopt a Sailor to send care packages to.”

Care package ideas:

Hot sauce, ketchup and BBQ sauce (fast foods place packets don’t take up much space)                   Small toys (stress balls, footballs, Frisbee’s, Hot Wheels, back of door basketball hoops)                 Non-perishable single serving items (cereal, rice crispy treats, snack bars, noodles)                               Hand sanitizer (bottles, sprays or wipes are all excellent)                                                                       Regional specialties (Dill pickle flavored chips anyone?)                                                                             Homemade DVDs of events/messages                                                                                                     Photos, artwork, handwritten letters                                                                                                       Beverage flavor powder packets                                                                                                           Sunflower seeds or other nuts                                                                                                               Hygiene/cosmetic items                                                                                                                           Holiday décor/trinkets                                                                                                                                 Hard candy and mints                                                                                                                       Popcorn packs                                                                                                                                           Peanut butter                                                                                                                                             Video games                                                                                                                                           DVD movies                                                                                                                                             Seasonings                                                                                                                                       Magazines                                                                                                                                                   Wet wipes                                                                                                                                                 Trail mix                                                                                                                                                        Books                                                                                                                                                     Jerky

Need even more ideas? Check out this blog on themed care packages!


SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 21, 2011) Aviation ElectricianÕs Mate 2nd Class Ross Suchman, from Belleville, Ill., reads a letter aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) thanking him for his service from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor. Volunteers from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor sent more than 130 care packages and party supplies to Sailors assigned to the Saberhawks of Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron (HSM) 77. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Murphy/Released) 10221-N-ZN781-022

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Feb. 21, 2011) Aviation ElectricianÕs Mate Airman David Coley, from Rocky Mount, N.C., reads a letter aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) thanking him for his service from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor. Volunteers from MollyÕs Adopt a Sailor sent more than 130 care packages and party supplies to Sailors assigned to the Saberhawks of Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron (HSM) 77. The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sarah Murphy/Released) 110221-N-ZN781-023

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