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Topic: Care packages for soldiers -- what to put inside?  (Read 4991 times)
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« on: June 03, 2009 05:20:35 PM »

My mother called today with a request.  She now knows 2 men who are going to Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively.  She is friends with their mothers and wives, respectively.  And she, ever the giver (cookies, fabric, garbage bags of stuff from my childhood room, recipes, newspaper clippings, furniture, etc.), wants to send care packages.  Sure, she could just whip up a batch of the cookies for which she is famous (and for which she is known as Judie Crocker), but she wants this to be helpful to the guys receiving them, not just full of cookies.  Weve been in these wars long enough for people to have figured out what to send in care packages, right?  I mean, some folks must have it down to a science.

So I ask you, dear crafters, what should she send in her care packages?  These are both guys in their early to mid-twenties, one married, one single.  I had heard somewhere along the line that soldiers actually asked for mundane necessities of life, such as sweatsocks and toilet paper, but I may be making that up.  Shes counting on us, so lets have at it: brainstorm away!

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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009 09:08:21 AM »

Hmmmm, I know that we have a lot of solider's wives, daughters, mothers around so I'm sure they can help out. I'm gonna think about it too and see what I can come up with.

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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009 06:30:00 PM »

There's a website (www.anysoldier.com) set up just for soldiers to put out requests for things that would make their stay more comfortable. Where many of them are stationed have almost nothing compared to the luxuries we're used to.  

Some just ask for letters with positive words of encouragement. Others are looking for magazines, books and the like to keep them entertained.  And there's some troops who need toiletries, socks, beverage mixes, and commercially packaged snacks.  Flashlights and batteries come in handy because the power may not be reliable.  

They cannot accept home-made items and being in the desert the heat turns chocolate into soup in our mild to warmer months.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009 06:32:57 PM by Idle Hands » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2009 07:49:09 AM »

My brother was stationed over there and he did ask for the necessities.  I would definitely put some magazines or any form of entertainment as they get bored and lonely over there.  They do have some activities, but something like a little handheld game they can play while in their bunks would be nice, too!  PHONE CARDS!!!!  My mom would always send a few of those!  Of course letters of encouragement and support are cherished.  Maybe you know some children who could draw pictures of how they see the soldiers helping the country/people.  I may consider taking some pictures of home and sending- a nice, refreshing, cool river or something of that nature.  Also, my bro really liked those Crystal Light (Great Value brand is better in some flavors!) drink mix packets.

Hope that helps! And give your mom a hug for me for being so good hearted!!!   Grin

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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009 01:09:36 PM »

I send at least two care packages a month to soldiers I contacted through www.anysoldier.com, it's such a great thing to do! All the ideas above are great, but I would wait on the phone cards as some will
have free phone use, depending on where they are and phone cards get expensive! However, if they do end up needing them they would be a godsend.
  Right now the temperatures in Iraq and Afghanistan are climbing towards the summer high of 110-130 degrees, so things to keep them cool are very popular. Freezer pops are a hot commodity!! However, make sure they have access to a freezer, and make sure to double bag in ziploc bags in case of leakage. If you want to get crafty, cool ties are like gold-they are neck scarves filled with water-absorbing pellets that can help them fight the heat. Google "Ships project", "cool ties" or "neck gators" for instructions.
   Individual drink powders are always popular, especially since they have to drink water constantly to stay hydrated in the heat.
  Although needs will vary depending on where they are, here are some things it seems like everyone asks for:
*healthy, individually packaged snacks (granola bars, nuts, protein bars, etc.)
*tuna in foil packets
*razor cartridges
*wet wipes
*toilet paper (take out the roll, squish, put in ziploc bag)
*toiletries (do not send anything with a scent in the same package as food!!!! )

I hope she has fun with her care packages and I guarantee they will love them!


« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2009 06:20:05 AM »

Thanks for your great ideas!  I'm passing them along.  Keep 'em coming.

Mama to baby twins.  Frantic crafter while they nap!

My blog: http://SLiPsofthetongue.wordpress.com

DH's humorous and often offensive blog: http://mymasonicapron.blogspot.com
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2009 01:16:54 PM »

lip balm and wet wipes. also american magazines.

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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2009 09:41:37 PM »

My father is in Iraq right now
and here is a website that i used
to get ideas.


His birthday will be spent there so im thinking about sending him one of
those cakes you bake in a jar so he just has to open it up and eat it!

oh and i would also recommend getting them
something that it specifically sold in your area
like in michigan we have a brand of soda called

When the soldiers or troops (since soldier is
technically only an member of the army) are over
there they stay on bases part of the time. The bases
have bxs which are our forms of grocery/department
super wallmart type stores, so they are able to get
many retail items.

I know even some of the bases, like my dad's have
a few chow halls and a BK.
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2009 09:52:20 PM »

foot care items  are another thing we have been having lots of requests for. neosporin with pain relief.
all the above stuff
dried fruit (the pineapple chunks are always welcome)
also  tell your mom that using a flat rate box  has best shipping rates.  and to mark it that it can be given to the chaplin if the soldier is not located.  the chaplin will find soldiers to divy it up between.
that way  she doesn't have to pay  to get it back. and its not a total loss if gets to the wrong place.

looking for instant coffee from australia or russia made with mustard and champagne.  VIOLET CRUMBLES and VEGEMITE would be welcome swap items!!
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2009 05:37:43 PM »

Phone cards, trail mix (without any bits that melt)

small, colorful treats.... they live in an ACU and od green world surrounded by sand
The guys I have in my life missed bright colors.  Unfortunately, often the only bright color they got to see with any regularity was blood red.   Sad


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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2009 12:02:02 PM »

Thanks everyone! You've inspired me to make a package.
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2009 02:54:44 AM »

They cannot accept home-made items and being in the desert the heat turns chocolate into soup in our mild to warmer months.

When my husband was over there I sent him homemade goodies all the time, including chocolate chip cookies. Make sure to send extras so they can be shared! Candy bars however are another story thay don't survive the trip. Where they are stationed makes a big difference on what they can get for basics, so they may or may not "need" them, but they will be appreciated. Also, try not to send lots of things that they would need to turn around and bring home with them as they are only allowed so much weight/space per person.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009 02:55:56 AM by ostera15 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2009 09:58:20 AM »

The latests shows tivoed on a dvd. You would not believe how happy that would make some of them!

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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2009 12:31:52 PM »

What a bunch of great ideas! Babywipes are also something to consider- other than the obvious use, they are also used to clean their guns

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« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2009 07:37:57 PM »

When my hubs was in Iraq he said they used the books as firewood, and were always in need of cigarettes (bad habit, I hate smoke, but he said it calmed there nerves, which they need)
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2009 06:35:17 PM »

when my ex boyfriend was overseas (he's 21) he was at Balad Air Force Base in Iraq and they have a PX.. but I would send him his favorite brands from the u.s. when I sent his nessecities.. I sent colgate and degree so he wouldn't have to use cheap stuff..lol he appreciated it.. also I sent him dvds and cds.. and he likes to read so I sent him books..
hope this helps!

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