Let’s Talk: What to Include in an Armed Forces Care Package

While caring is the most important part of sending a care package, there are some really helpful tips you may want to keep in mind when you’re putting one together for a friend, family or adopted service member. For example:

  • Think quality over quantity. When it comes to items like body wash or lip balm, premium or higher quality brands can be a real treat. You can always find great deals on products like GILLETTE and more at Costco.
  • Beef jerky, shaving cream, and socks are almost always a hit.
  • Be careful about sending homemade food goodies—the gesture will be appreciated but chances are good they will go stale.
  • Hot sauce or flavor packets make for great gifts.
Have you ever sent a care package to a service member? If so, what did you include?

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Michelle M.
I coupon to get items free or at a very low cost to put in care packages to send to military abroad. I include baby wipes (great for those in remote areas), deodorant, toothpaste, lotions, shampoo, and other toiletries. We also include hard candy that is individually wrapped, licorice, and any other treats that will survive the mailing time.
ugie m.
Beef jerky, my homemade soap and lotion, koolaid to go packs, pudding, under ware, and lots more
Steph S.
I've done this a few times over the years and some groups had specific requests. I sent things like: Chapstick Baby wipes Beef jerky Coffee / powdered creamer / flavored instant coffee Playing cards / Crossword puzzle books Powdered drink mixes like Gatorade, lemonade Car magazines / national newspapers Prepackaged snacks like flavored popcorn, pretzels, sunflower seeds and containers of mixed nuts and dried fruit.
Loren G.
When i was younger and in school, we never sent care packages, but we sent many letters around the holidays. Also have sent halloween candy :D
Carrie R.
Hey there I am a proud NAVY MOM - my daughter is currently deployed on a carrier and sending care packages is a big boost to the moral of our military. Little things from home - candy, gum, cereal, cards, games - almost anything you can think of - hygiene products - under-shirts, socks. They appreciate any thing!! Myself, my hubby and my mom personally sent two care boxes to two gentlemen in my daughters unit who would not have gotten any care packages at all. Great a group of coworkers together and each purchase a couple items and make up even one care package - it does make a different and does brighten the day of our military who are fighting for our freedom - safety and put their lives on the line.
Leilani H.
Shelf stable food and sanitary supplies.
Ayla M.
I did send homemade cookies.....the first time around they did get stale on the trip over but I found a solution for that....if you place the cookies in the bottom of a air tight container then place 2 slices of bread on top the cookies...put the lid on and they survived the trip over...my husband and his buddies loved it!
Patti M.
my women's club sends monthly packages to our men and women in service. We have included toothpaste and brushes, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sanitary napkins and plugs. There is always candy, cookies and crackers, pretzels. Also, we send baggies of different sizes to hold their goodies
Cheryl W.
baby wipes body wash candy
Anastasha H.
Baby wipes are a God-send for the troops! They can use them for so many things, including a quick "shower" or to clean up small spills. Chapstick and sunscreen, as others have mentioned. Baked goods (enough to share) and notes expressing our thanks. I also always try to include feminine products, as our servicewomen can sometimes be overlooked!