Sending A Little Bit Of Home And A Lot Of Love
A Box Of Love
Deployments can be challenging for both you and your loved one. Care packages are an excellent way to show your love while sending them a little bit of home. Whether you are seasoned or new to this way of life, these tips can help!
I always loved the USPS Flat Rate boxes. The large/ APO is almost the perfect size to send. You can pick these boxes up at any Post Office free of charge. The Postal Service also offers Military Care Kits (https://store.usps.com/store/product/shipping-supplies/military-care-kit-P_MILITARYKIT) which include:
- 2 APO/FPO Flat Rate Boxes
- 4 Medium Flat Rate Boxes
- 1 roll of tape
- 6 address labels
- 6 Form Envelopes
The maximum care kits one can order is 5. I would absolutely recommend picking up a few boxes at a time if you choose to go in person to the Post Office. Life can get busy, especially during deployments. Having a few on hand will save you a trip!
Packaging and Shipping
You will want to make sure you layer up on the tape. So many layers! Not only do I tape the bottom and the top folds, but I also tape up all of the corners and the side seams. When in doubt, use more tape.
Labels are extremely important. Verify from your loved one that you have the correct address. You will need to put the APO address on the label. The APO is not addressed to the deployed country- it is a United States address. The customs form will need to be filled out accurately. I always categorized- for example, I would write down snacks instead of listing each snack item out.
Cost for Shipping
- APO/FPO: $20.95
- Large Flat Rate box: $22.45
- Medium Flat Rate box: $17.05
Understand that some countries, including the military bases have restrictions. Some include, but not limited to alcohol, cigarettes, pornographic material, and even pork/ pork by- products. For any question or concerns reach out to your key volunteer of family group point of contact. You can find also find a list of restrictions per the post office here https://www.usps.com/ship/shipping-restrictions.htm
When To Expect The Delivery Of Your Care Package
It can take up to two weeks on average for your loved one to receive the package. It helps to label the package with a letter. Sometimes packages get lost and/or delayed. One deployment, my husband received the first package I sent almost two months later! This is something to keep in mind when sending perishables.
What Should I Send?
What are some items or snacks that will make your loved one feel at home? Does your military member have some favorite comfort items? Pack and send them!
Snacks are always a great choice. Beef jerky, ramen noodles, peanut butter, gum, and candy. Stay away from anything that can melt, like chocolate. I loved making cookies. I would pack them fresh that day and vacuum seal them up.
Some must- haves can be toiletries, undergarments, sudoku puzzles/ crossword puzzles and personalized letters.
A Care Package With A Bit Of Home
Deployments can be fueled by a variety of emotions on both ends. Care packages are a great way to stay connected. A way to send love, and a little bit of home. It helps with connection, and can even help keep the spark alive!