Tips on Preparing and Shipping a Care Package for the Needy

How to prepare a care package for the needy and ship it. Care package instructions in this tough economic time.

In this really tough economic time, there are several reasons why someone may appreciate receiving a care package.  Many of our friends or family members are either out of work and unemployed for some reason, or working in at low paying  job.  Maybe a friend or family member has reached a point in their lives where they can no longer work for medical and health reasons.  Whatever the situation, and I have only covered a few, it is time for us to share.  It is time for us to help the less fortunate.  Many times the person caught up in this situation can get help in the form of food stamps or medication assistance.

Let's talk about items that only money can buy. The person you are sending to still has bills to pay. Consider sending them envelopes, writing tablets, ink pens and postage stamps. You may even include some greeting cards if you have extra. They will appreciate having them on hand to send to their loved ones for special occasions. If your chosen recipient lives in an apartment, they may do laundry in a machine requiring coins. Think about including a roll of quarters in your package.

Toiletries are things that you will also need to put into the package. Remember, think about the things they will need to purchase using currency. Some of these items include toothpaste, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, soap, shampoo and conditioner.

Let's move our thinking caps into the kitchen area. We can send items like paper towels, napkins, zipper bags, foil or clear wrap. Put a tightly screwed bottle of dish detergent into a large zipper bag and put that into the box.

You can even consider sending pain relievers, ointments, bandages, antacid or other over the counter medication. It may be a good idea to ask them what they use most often on a regular basis.

The postal service will provide you with a flat rate box at no charge. Once your package is ready for mailing, all you pay is the set amount of postage for the particular size box you have chosen as long as you meet the weight standards.

Now let's pack our items. Package systematically using newspaper to fill spaces and bubble wrap if mailing fragile items. Use zipper bags to put the things that could leak in. I recently had too many items for one box. I used the pre calculated postal service box for the heavy items because it allowed a maximum of 70 lbs. inside. I packaged the light items (zipper bags, writing tablet, envelopes, stamps, paper towels, etc.)in a smaller regular recycled cardboard box. It weighed little and cost less to mail that way instead of in the postal service box.

* If you don't care to go through the task of shopping for items or preparing a package, send a gift card.

* Tape your box well covering all seams and flap openings.

* When taping your box shut, be careful not to put tape over the area in the upper right hand area of the box. The postage stamp or label will not stick well to tape.

* Use a postal service address label and write clearly.

* The purpose of the Care Package is to supply the one in need with the necessities only money can buy. If you feel a gift card won't be used for that purpose, send the care package instead.  Use your judgement.  If you know the person really well and feel comfortable with a donation of money, then send a money order.  On the other hand, if you feel the money won't be applied where you intended for it to be used, the care package is the better choice.

In closing I will remind you that we have troops over seas that would love to receive a care of treats.  The postal service has a box especially for mailing to our military.  You will need to pick up the necessary customs form to accompany the package.

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Posted on Mar 19, 2010