Sending Military Care Packages: A Comprehensive Checklist for First-Timers

Last Updated: September 21, 2023By Tags: ,

Sending Military Care Packages: A Comprehensive Checklist for First-Timers

Sending a care package to a military service member can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only does it show appreciation and support for their sacrifices, but it can also bring a much-needed taste of home to those stationed far away. However, if it’s your first time, the process can seem a bit daunting. This comprehensive guide aims to simplify the process and provide you with a checklist for successfully sending military care packages.

Understanding the Basics

What is a Military Care Package?

A military care package is a box of goods sent to military personnel stationed overseas. These packages often contain food, personal care items, entertainment, and reminders of home. They can serve as a significant morale booster for our troops.

Who Can Send Military Care Packages?

Anyone can send a military care package – family, friends, or even a kind-hearted stranger. Many Nonprofit and other organizations facilitate the sending of packages to service members from those who may not personally know someone in the military but still want to show support.

A Comprehensive Checklist for Sending Military Care Packages

1. Find the Recipient’s Military Address

To send a care package, you’ll need the recipient’s Military Post Office (MPO) address. An MPO address ensures that your package is correctly routed to a military base overseas. It will include an APO (Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office), or DPO (Diplomatic Post Office) designation followed by a series of numbers and the service member’s first and last name. ShipThrifty’s Care Package Request Form makes it easy for organizations to securely compile a list of service member’s overseas mailing addresses.

 2. Choose the Right Box

A sturdy box is essential for shipping your care package. Depending on the zip code you’re mailing to and the items you’re placing in the box, you can save considerably on postage by choosing the right box. Flat rate shipping boxes are not always the most economical choice. ShipThrifty’s military shipping experts can help you decide if it’s a greater cost savings to use free USPS boxes, or to order boxes from our shipping supplies partners.

3. Know What to Send

Deciding what to put in your care package can be a fun and creative process. Here are some commonly appreciated items:

– Non-perishable Food: Snacks like protein bars, trail mix, instant noodles, or canned goods are always a hit.

– Personal Care Items: Travel-sized toiletries, sunscreen, lip balm, and baby wipes can be very useful.

– Entertainment: Books, magazines, puzzle books, or small games can help pass the time.

– Letters and Photos: Personal notes and photos from home can provide a significant morale boost.

Remember, practical items like socks can double up as padding to protect more fragile items.

4. Know What Not to Send

There are specific restrictions on what can be sent to military bases. Make sure you’re aware of these. For example, avoid sending perishable goods, alcohol, hand sanitizer, aersols, or anything that could be potentially hazardous. It’s best to check the current restrictions before packing your care package.

5. Pack Your Box Properly

Packing your box correctly is vital to ensure everything arrives in one piece. Start by placing heavier items at the bottom, and use soft items like socks or t-shirts for padding. Make sure everything is sealed properly, and place any liquids in a plastic bag to prevent leaks or spills.

6. Fill Out a Customs Form

Any package sent to an APO, FPO, or DPO address must have a completed customs form. The form provides a detailed description of the contents of your package and is used to ensure no prohibited items are being sent. ShipThrifty has the only tool available to create bulk APO customs forms quickly and easily. Save hours of your time and your local Post Office the hassle of entering customs information by using ShipThrifty’s easy customs form generator, which provides you a manifest of all boxes that is easy to scan and import.

7. Create a Prepaid Shipping Label

Using a shipping platform like ShipThrifty, you can easily create prepaid shipping labels. Not only does this save time at the post office, but it can also offer significant discounts. Our team can help you create and print your shipping labels to make your military care package event quicker and easier.

8. Send Off Your Care Package

Once your care package is ready to go, drop it off at your local post office or schedule a pickup. You can check your ShipThrifty account to track the status of your packages all the way to the base.

Final Thoughts on Military Care Package Shipping

Remember, the process of sending a military care package is not just about the items you put into the box; it’s about showing support and gratitude to our service members. With this comprehensive checklist, you’re well-equipped to send your first military care package and make a meaningful impact on a Hero’s day. 

At ShipThrifty, we’re here to support you every step of the way, making your shipping process as easy and cost-effective as possible. For more tips on shipping military care packages, check out our other blog posts or reach out to our dedicated customer support team. We’re here to help you bring a little bit of home to the brave men and women serving our country abroad.

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