{sending a care package with love}


dena vanlengen

In any circumstance, being away from home for long periods of time is tough. Whether you are a college student going to school in a different state or even town, someone who has had to re-locate states for a job, an active duty military member or if you are living in different state than someone you love… it’s tough.

There is only one thing that can make being away from loved ones easier – a box full of goodies, AKA a care package!

I remember when I lived on campus my first year of college, my friends would get care packages from home and they would love it (home was 15 minutes away for me, so it wasn’t necessary ha!). I still walk into my sorority house and see care packages from home in some of my sisters’ rooms and I know how happy it makes them. So if any of you parents are reading this, those care packages mean a lot!

College is a stressful, busy time and sometimes all we need is that reassurance that our parents are thinking about us and have got our backs!

You can send packages for any reason. There are so many creative ideas: holiday packages, get well soon packages, studying packages, working out package. The themes for the packages could literally go on forever. I joined a group on Facebook for people with loved ones in the Military and let me just tell you the packages they come up with are great! If you are looking for some ideas, turn to Facebook and join a group, I promise they are out there. Or if you want to just keep it simple, get those goodies in a box and send it. It’s honestly the thought that counts.

For me personally, since Matt and I have started our first deployment together, I have fallen in LOVE with making care packages. Him and I have had this conversation a few times, but sometimes we both agree that those care packages are more for me! Seriously, there is nothing that I love more than sitting at home making a care package for him full of all kinds of things that I know will make him at least smile (or think I’m nuts) when he gets it. Not only does it make me feel really close to him even when he’s thousands of miles away, it takes my mind off missing him and makes me feel like I’m taking care of him like I would be if he was home.

It’s a win-win, y’all.

I’ll tell you a little bit about what I do with Matt’s care packages, and if any of you are care package senders like I am, please leave a comment and tell me what you do, too! I would love to hear it! Always looking for ideas! *wink wink*

First, ya gotta get the box.

I get mine from the United States Postal Service, just because they send huge military care package kits out and its super easy to send. I know for the military, they do a flat rate for each size box. So if it fits, it ships! I can’t even begin to tell you all how many times I’ve sat there and fought the boxes to get them to close. There have been a few times where I was literally concerned that the box was going to bust if it was thrown too hard.

For college students, I would consider just reaching out to the post office or local mail carrier and asking about the boxes and rates. Sometimes I send my stuff through a local guy and he is the nicest person ever, just requires some research.

Second, ya gotta get the stuff!

So I’m a broke college student. We all know how that game goes – lets see if my debit card swipes today ha!

Care packages can get expensive, but places like Target, Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store are honestly where it’s at to get the items you want to send. USE. COUPONS. They’re lifesavers. I try to send at least one box a month, if not two, so it can add up quick, but coupons make life a little easier!

Target has an AMAZING dollar section, I find myself asking, “Wait. How did I get to 50 dollars when I literally only went to the dollar section????” more often than not.

However, it has some fun little things to send as well as some necessities. I get a lot of the food and toiletries that I send at Wal-Mart or Sams Club, because the quantity of items and the prices are great.

Third, ya gotta put the box together!

Now, I do a lot of themed boxes cause I’m one of those that loves crafts and doing crafty things. So far, since we started this deployment in the middle of June, I have done a Sunshine Box, Deployment Survival 101 Box, Something Out Of The Blue Box and a little Go Gators Box because that’s his favorite football team.

The sunshine box I sent was filled with all yellow and fun quotes.

The Deployment Survival 101 Box was all the necessities he may need like Band-Aids, soap, toothbrushes, energy drinks, Clif bars, etc and MUCH more stuffed in that flat rate box.

The Out Of The Blue box was all American food and snacks, because sometimes the food he gets over there isn’t the greatest.

The Go Gators Box was extra food I couldn’t fit into the out of the blue box! I like to paint my box with acrylic paint and let it sit for a few days, just so the smell of the paint doesn’t overwhelm the box when it gets hot (because it’s 100+ degreeswhere he’s at.) I also like to put quotes and memes in the box so he gets an extra laugh or smile when he opens it up!

That’s a wrap!

Luckily, I have some friends that also have lived/live the military lifestyle. So when I started my care packages, they answered all kinds of questions I had. If anyone reading this has any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I will help you all that I can!

Last little note: Pinterest will be your best friend when you decide to create a care package, just search in the box “care packages for college students” or “care packages for military” and there will be so many to choose from! Also be sure to follow She Is Blank Space on Pinterest while you’re there 😉

I hope this encourages people to send care packages to their loved ones that may be far away, or even around the corner! It’s the little things in life that matter, and bringing joy to someone else’s day that may really need it is something that really matters to me.

– D

Pick a pin and click…

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  • Yvie
    September 21, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    I think your on to something! Love the heartfelt messages!