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Care Package Ideas

Themes, recipes, all kinds of ideas plus mailing tips and tricks.  It's fun to have them here in one place, so come get ideas and share yours!  

Members: 1235
Latest Activity: Sep 25

Carla:  I am a moderator for Navy moms on Yahoo, but also through the years have done troop support for all branches. I also have started and maintained hometown troop support, and send from our little community in Spirit Lake, Idaho - that has been very very cool. So, if you have ideas you want to share, bring it on and read and enjoy and use!  My email is if you have any questions or comments.  Feel free to share these in other groups or with friends.

Marcy ~ Corpsman Mom:  I'm co-admin and been sending care packages since 2008!  The best method is using the flat-rate priority boxes from USPS.  There's a two-dollar discount when sending to an APO/FPO address and you can send up to 70 lbs - that's 7.7 bricks!  You can order a free carton of 10 or 25 of the large-size boxes to be delivered to you at USPS APO/FPO flat-rate boxes; or call them at 800-610-8734 and request the "military pack" of six assorted boxes, customs forms, tape and address labels.  It can take two weeks or more for mail to arrive, and much longer if your sailor is deployed.  Tips:  To save space, remove things from original packaging and put them in Ziplock bags.  Don't pack fragrant items such as soap or fabric softener sheets with food as the odors get absorbed.  Use clear tape or USPS priority tape to seal.  Put a copy of the address IN the box.  Storage space is limited so send accordingly :)  And everyone loves to share cookies, brownies, anything chocolate!  For your sailor now, two great checklists for deployment planning are the Single Sailor Deployment Readiness Checklist and Pre-Deployment Checklist for Family Members, prepared by JAG.

Just HOW does your care package reach the ship?  Watch!  Video: Underway replenishment - Guided missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) sailor Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Marian Byrd discusses her role as a rig captain during replenishment-at-sea evolutions.

And if you've got the bug and would like to do more, please consider joining Molly's Adopt a Sailor here on  Every month they adopt a DEPLOYED ship or unit and send the service members themed packages.  It's a super-fun and friendly group and you'll make great friends while sending much-needed and appreciated love and support from home!

Discussion Forum

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Comment by John and Yvonne on July 1, 2016 at 12:50pm

Wow! I did not realize there is a 2.00  discount when sending to APO/FPO.  I'll say something with the next ones I send.


Comment by Marcy ~ Corpsman Mom on June 29, 2016 at 11:40pm

Yvonne just posted what she does for birthday care packages in the Norfolk group.  She and her husband host sailors at their home for home-away-from-home game nights, holiday dinners etc.  I love this!

"Whenever one of the sailors who come over to our house on the weekends deploys, this is what I have done in the past. For their birthday, instead of sending a cake or brownies, etc., I have made peanut brittle in the microwave and put it in a round cake pan.  I put a straw in the middle and it hardens that way.  I pack that, a candle, balloons they can blow up, little games from the dollar store like a mini pool table or other mini games, movie candies, sometimes a Little Rascal movie or other funny movie, a match or two to light the candle, etc.  You can add little plates or napkins too if you like. It may sound silly, but all of them have really liked their birthday care package.  Chewing gum is a great thing too. 

Anyway, that's my two cents worth! :)


Comment by ChrisyDVM(Chris'sMom) on June 26, 2016 at 4:17pm

For me it's been 3-6 wks but I know for some it's taken 2 mo or longer...or never as sometimes they get lost

Comment by Marcy ~ Corpsman Mom on June 26, 2016 at 2:25pm

The short answer, unfortunately, is "It depends," on such variables as where they are, what they're doing, and the UNREP schedule.  It can be as long as six weeks or so.  

This is a video of an underway replenishment (UNREP) that includes connected replenishment (CONREP) and vertical replenishment via helo (VERTREP).  The whole process is amazing and fraught with all sorts of danger.  Bravo Zulu to all the sailors who pull it off, all over the world, every day.  The ships in the video are USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and USNS Wally Schirra.

Comment by tnmom50 on June 26, 2016 at 2:13pm

how long does it take to get the care package it has been almost i month since i sent it to sea 

Comment by Marcy ~ Corpsman Mom on June 26, 2016 at 4:03am

WELCOME new members!  Great ideas and inspirations are to be found in the Discussion Forum above and from other memers here.  Inmadelady, I'm sure you came up with a great birthday box.  Brownies have always been my go-to.  Everyone loves chocolate, and they can be shared!  

Comment by lmnadelady on March 7, 2016 at 10:10pm

Ok ladies,  I need to ship a birthday box oversea.  Looking for birthday cake ideas.  

Comment by anniebananie55 on February 26, 2016 at 9:17pm

thanks, Marcy. I will work with our local post office on this.

Comment by Marcy ~ Corpsman Mom on February 25, 2016 at 10:35pm

Thanks for the great image of prune canisters in a box, love it!  Anniebananie55, you can use the regular (large 12"x12"x6") priority mail flat rate box at the post office and still get the APO/FPO discount.  

Comment by anniebananie55 on February 21, 2016 at 4:36pm

Love it...time to start buying and eating prunes! Thanks!


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