Archives for posts with tag: care package

Last month, my church sent 16 care packages to two graduates (my former neighbor and the boyfriend of a friend) of the local (read: hometown) high school.  Today, I received a phone call from a woman sending 12 care packages overseas.  The local (read: college town) Army recruiting station had given her my phone number.

Even though the American military has been at war for eight years (and even though combat operations officially ended half of forever ago), I realized that many people may not have experience with shipping care packages.  So, here is Care Packages 101.

Check out Shooter's adorable polka dot water bowl.

+ When shipping care packages via USPS, request Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate boxes.  You can ship whatever will fit for the flat rate of $12.95 ($2 cheaper than the Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box, which is the exact same size).

+ If you’re shipping baked goods (i.e. brownies, cookies), include a piece of bread in the container.  It will prevent the goods from drying out and going stale on their journey overseas.

+ Plain popcorn makes a great, inexpensive, biodegradable packing peanut.

+ Pick up and fill out customs forms before going to the post office to ship your boxes – this saves time.

+ Keep track of the approximate cost of the items you’re shipping — the customs form will include a space for you to document the value of the box.

+ I refuse to send beef jerky unless it is Jack Link’s.  This is my all-time favorite jerky and I think everything else is sub-par.  If I’m going to send jerky, I’m going to do it right.

+ If you’re sending a care package to a loved one, include a journal you’ve been writing in for a while.  Internet connectivity is not always reliable and phone time may be short, so writing down your thoughts and daily adventures will provide a tangible conversation.

+ Do you have any tips for sending care packages?

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

+ care packages. I turned 21 on Saturday — Alan and I started the day by going for coffee at the local coffee shop.  The guys (a quirky and wonderful group of men I’ll have to write about some time) sang “Happy Birthday” to me, and then Alan and I met Mom, the pastor and his family and another family at church.  We spent the next two and a half hours organizing, packing and preparing care packages for shipment.  The boys signed their names on letters and box flaps, wrote “thank you” on plastic bags and even helped secure the boxes with tape.
After that, we spent half an hour in the post office.  Most of it was spent filling in the customs forms more completely.  There are currently 16 care packages en route to Afghanistan — six for Frank, Sarah‘s husband and my former neighbor; six for Alex, a friend and the boyfriend of a friend; and four for four airmen, whose contact information was given to me by Lori Stewart, president of Toys for Troops.

Pastor and Alan assemble shipping boxes

 

Writing notes on plastic bags before adding peanut brittle

Shooter guards some finished packages

16 boxes -- ready for the postmaster

+ korean. Alan made a Korean birthday cake (similar to sponge cake) and bibimbap, my absolute favorite Korean dish.  There would be photos, except for the fact that I cannot find my USB cable to connect my camera to my computer.

+ gym. Alan and I went to the gym this morning.  I walked for a mile, realized I was still cold and my hands were freezing, jogged for 3/4 of a mile to warm up and then resumed walking.  I have slightly over two months before our engagement photo session, so I’d like to tone up a bit before then.  Last spring, I went jogging on a regular basis with a guy from college (he was training for a marathon).  It was such a motivator because I didn’t want to be bested by a guy, especially because he was bigger than me.  But he transferred, so I have no running buddy.  I’ll have to start taking Shooter once the temperature warms a bit.

+ engagement photos. Our session has been scheduled for May 19, a few days before we fly out to visit Alan’s family in California.

+ catch-up. Tonight, Alan and I made plans to meet up with Frank and Sarah.  He’s home on R&R, and I haven’t seen him since he graduated high school in 2006-ish (or somewhere around there).  We lived in the same neighborhood for years, but it wasn’t until we both graduated that we started talking on a more regular basis.  Funny how that works.  I met Sarah in December, while Alan and I were in Lancaster for his ATC.  Her best piece of advice: “Don’t repeat ‘To the Fallen.’  Whatever you do.”