We’ve all experienced those hard deployment days here on the home front, but sometimes we forget that those away from home go through them too! Whether it’s brutal weather, rough schedules, missing home or missions not going as planned, morale can be a very fragile thing, especially for an entire group.
And let’s be honest, when the group is feeling low, so are the individuals who are part of it, including your loved one.
That’s why I love the idea of sending group care packages! You never know when a small reminder of home will lift heavy loads and brighten smiles.
Mini Care Packages for Groups
Mini stockings at Christmas
I’ve actually sent this very mini care package to my husband’s co-workers and included jingle bells, candy canes and hot chocolate mix along with a few staple items like granola bars and water flavor packets. Packaging all of the contents into mini stockings really ups the festive feeling. My husband actually held onto these until Christmas Eve and everyone took a break from working to open them.
Mini plastic pumpkins at Halloween
You could send these little plastic pumpkins empty with candy packaged separately. This way, your loved one’s co-workers can trick or treat. Remember to avoid chocolate in this mini care package as it may still melt! Another option would be to choose Halloween-themed goodie bags and pre-fill them with treats.
Filled plastic eggs at Easter
Depending on the size of the plastic eggs, you could send things like a small package of jellybeans, maybe an individually wrapped Peep or even a non-holiday snack. If your loved one is really cooperative, you could even have them hide the eggs in their co-workers belongings to mimic an Easter egg hunt.
Mini toiletry kits
These could be sent at pretty much anytime during a deployment, but the journey out and back are great times to send mini care packages filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant. You could also add gum or breath spray!
Group Care Package Ideas
A box full of mini care packages is a fun idea, but sometimes you may want to send a themed box for an entire troop or unit. You’ll likely want to skip any romantic or suggestive puns since the box isn’t just for your loved one, but don’t worry, there are plenty of themes appropriate for a group! Click through the slideshow below for some suggestions and don’t forget to check out my Etsy shop for your pre-made care package flaps.
There are a lot of group care package possibilities related to the holidays, but you could also focus on sports seasons or seasonal activities (like going to the beach) in group care packages. This would also be the perfect time to send a branch-themed care package. Find ideas for each branch here.
Tips for Group Care Packages
Send neutral or generic items.
If you’re sending a group care package, it is not the time to send your loved one’s favorite things. Unless you know otherwise, look for gender-neutral items and avoid items that have super specific tastes. For example, maybe don’t send those pickle-flavored sunflower seeds your loved one is obsessed with because they may not be popular with everyone. Generic items like water flavor packets, granola bars, beef jerky and simple toiletries will appeal to the largest number of people. You could have family or friends participate by writing notes to include as well.
Ask for contributions.
If you’re shopping for a crowd, it can get very expensive! But people are always so anxious to help during a deployment and this is the perfect way to include them. By assigning each person a specific item to contribute, you reduce your overall costs and keep their monetary contribution manageable as well. For more ways to get others involved in care packages, check out this blog post.
Use an assembly line to pack them!
Keep all those kind people involved by having them help you pack the boxes! Put on some fun music, buy a pizza or two and start stuffing bags. It makes it easier and gets you out of your deployment bubble to spend time with other people.
Group care packages are a great way to make service members feel appreciated while away from home, especially during a rough deployment. Have you ever sent group care packages?
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.