Our friends and relatives in the military love to receive care packages from home; especially when they are deployed overseas. A friend of mine has a daughter, Krissy, stationed in the Middle East and I try to send her what I call a Goodie Box several times a year. Why do I call it a Goodie Box? Because it’s full of goodies. Krissy’s parents can send her a care package with practical, useful items. I like to send her goodies that she can share with her fellow military friends.
Today I sent Krissy a goodie box with brownies and mini pound cakes. The brownies were wrapped individually in plastic wrap and then wrapped together in foil. They were placed in the food storage box on the left. The pound cakes were wrapped individually in plastic wrap then foil; each one placed in a food storage box that’s a perfect fit for the little cakes. All of this wrapping was to protect the goodies from being crushed or mashed up.
The brownies and cakes were placed in a 12” x 12” x 5-1/2” USPS Priority Mail APO/FPO Flat Rate Box, with packing paper placed in the empty spaces to keep items secure. Next, packing paper was placed on top of the items to make sure nothing moves around. This size flat rate APO/FPO box ships for $12.95 regardless of weight. Rates subject to change in the future.
Seal with good quality packing tape, I use Scotch brand. Tape all seams and corners. I like to put a piece of tape over the return address and the mailing address. After this photo was taken, another piece of tape was taped down the center, covering the return address. The words CARE PACKAGE was typed above Krissy’s name and highlighted in yellow. PERISHABLE labels were put on each side of the box. For overseas packages, U. S. Customs Form 2976-A has to be completed and affixed to the box. A former marine told me, when mailing food, the CARE PACKAGE and PERISHABLE labels helps keep delivery from being delayed.
What To Ship
Shipping food can be a little tricky because you want to ship items that won’t spoil, leak, melt or break up during transit. A few items that travel well are microwave popcorn, Pringles and hard candy. For detailed information on sending foods safely, click here, to get specific information from the USDA.
Goodies I Ship: Since I’m a baker, I like to send mini pound cakes and brownies. I also try to add some dry drink mix such as Crystal Light, Gatorade or Wyler’s.
How to Ship
When practical, I use the large USPS APO/FPO Flat Rate Shipping Box. They can be picked up at the Post Office or ordered online and mailed to your home at no cost to you. I like them because they are:
- shipped priority mail
- discounted $2 from the regular flat rate boxes
Of course, you don’t have to use the USPS Flat Rate Shipping Boxes but it’s probably good practice to use a new box. Walmart carries a good selection of sturdy boxes at reasonable prices. You will also need:
- correctly addressed label (very important)
- good quality packing tape (brown or clear)
- packing materials to cushion items and keep them from moving around in the box
- wrap your box in paper
- secure your packaging with string
For materials to cushion, save the packing materials from Amazon.com and other online stores. For more information see the related article below.
NOTE: Christmas Care Packages via USPS Priority Mail should be shipped by December 3, 2011.
Related Article: Supporting Our Troops Overseas