The brave men and women of our United States military do so much to preserve and defend the sacred freedoms and liberties of this nation. Risking life and limb for America is a unique and commendable sacrifice which deserves appreciation and respect. We will always be appreciative and grateful for the bravery and fortitude shown by our soldiers.
Military care packages are one of the best ways we can thank our service members; this is why knowing how to send military care packages for free is so important. Care packages can be sent to a single individual in the military or even to several troops. Either way, being aware of how to send care packages for free allows you to make a kind gesture which goes quite a long way.
A Brief Review of Military Care Packages
If you’re wondering how to send military care packages for free, you may also wonder what to include in the package. However, the good news is that care packages don’t always have to be extremely fancy or elaborate; as a matter of fact, when showing your appreciation to deployed individuals, sometimes less is more.
Military care packages can include the following items:
- Homemade or store-purchased food
- Pictures, books, letters, etc.
- Soap, lotion, shampoo, etc.
- Games, puzzles, stationary, etc.
- Socks, t-shirts, clothing, etc.
Ultimately, what you choose to include in a military care package is mainly up to you; however, it’s generally advisable to ensure that the recipient(s) of the package will be able to make good use of the included items.
How to Send Military Care Packages for Free: What You Need to Know
If you’re unsure of how to send your care packages for free, you should first be aware of the United States Postal Service’s operation care package. The operation care package grants cost-free shipping supplies along with a free-of-charge Military Care Kit.
The Military Care Kit comes along with the following content:
- Two large priority flat rate boxes
- Two medium priority flat rate boxes
- Custom mailing forms
- Custom mailing envelopes
- Address labels
In order to get ahold of the operation care package, you should visit a USPS branch in your area. You can also go to the USPS website online or call 1-800-610-8734 in order to reach the Packing Supply Center.
The United States Postal Service is not the only venue to be aware of when determining how to send military care packages for free. You should additionally keep your eyes peeled for companies which offer free-of-charge shipping deals for military care packages going to APO/FPO addresses.
Shipping Restrictions and Prohibited Items
In learning how to send military care packages for free, being aware of shipping restrictions and prohibited items is paramount. This is especially relevant if you’re sending the military care package to someone who is deployed overseas. Ultimately, the specific shipping restrictions will vary based upon the country where your serviceperson is deployed.
While the specific prohibited items can sometimes differ, nine times out of ten, prohibited items to be aware of generally deal with products which can be dangerous or otherwise cause issues for deployed service members.
More often than not, the following items are generally prohibited from inclusion in military care packages:
- Pork products
- Perfumes with alcohol
- Fresh produce
- Dry Ice
- Nail polish
- Lithium batteries
Preparing a Military Care Package
A significant part of knowing how to send military care packages for free involves preparing a military care package. As you put together a care package for service members, you want to make sure it’s properly assembled so that the items are not damaged during the shipping process.
Packaging Tips and Tricks:
One of the most important methods of preparation involves enclosing all items in plastic bags. This will prevent leaks and contamination from rain, sand, and other existing elements. If your military care package includes food items, then enclosing items in plastic bags is certainly good practice. You don’t want food to get mixed up with non-edibles, such as lotion or soaps.
As you put together your care package, also make sure that it’s not overstuffed. You can include multiple items, but you don’t want your boxes to break or tear because of too much content.
Since you’re learning how to send care packages for free, remember to be sure that your package is effectively sealed. This means seeing to it that you use lots of tape to secure your boxes and keep everything contained and unharmed. When preparing a military care package, using as much tape as possible typically works well.
Another critical detail to remember when preparing a care package is the item manifest. Item manifests merely include a list of everything which the recipient should expect in their package. This can make a significant difference and ensure that all content within the care package is received as it should be.
In-Demand Items for Service Members
A helpful part of knowing how to send military care packages for free is being aware of which items are most in demand for deployed men and women. This doesn’t mean that you can’t include your own gifts for service members; however, it makes a difference to know the common items which are most in-demand for members of the military.
The following content are most commonly reported as wanted and/or needed by deployed men and women:
- Toilet paper
- Pain medication
- Breath mints
- Laundry soap
- Sun glasses
- Baby wipes
- Personal care items
- International phone cards
Themed-Based Military Care Packages
Being mindful of various themes can serve you well. You can put together your own theme-based care packages or draw inspiration from already-existing or commonly-used themes.
Some examples of theme-based military care packages include sports themes, patriotic themes, etc. A sports military care package might include energy bars, athletic apparel, and crackerjacks, whereas a patriotic theme could include content like coca-cola, condiments, blue toothpaste, etc. One of the greatest things about theme-based military care packages is the ability to get creative. If you do, in fact, decide to send a care package with a specific theme, make sure that the recipient(s) will like what they’re getting.
The Finishing Touches
Knowing how to send military care packages for free will not only change your life, but also the lives of service members who are fighting to shield the greatness and liberties of the United States. Serving abroad is an immense sacrifice for deployed men and women; the least that they deserve are friendly and well-thought-out care packages.
Understanding the ins and outs of how to send these care packages for free furthermore ensures that the delivery process runs smoothly and efficiently. The last thing you’d want to do is unknowingly send a prohibited item or fail to include items which are in high demand and of true value to service members. Now that you’re fully aware of how to send military care packages for free and what the process entails, you can send them as often as you’d like. Whether you know someone who is deployed or would simply like to thank the troops for their service, every military care package makes a difference and is greatly appreciated.