Whether they’re willing to admit it or not, our loved ones definitely deal with a bit of homesickness when they’re deployed. For some, it’s more than just a bit and can be difficult to deal with on their own. Luckily, your loved one isn’t on their own: they have you to support them!
A great way to support a military service member who’s experiencing homesickness is to send a care package inspired by their hometown or current duty station. That tangible taste (or smell) of home can make a huge difference in someone’s day. Plus the care package itself is so fun to put together as you pick out favorite items from home!
Hometown Care Package Themes
Like with most care packages, the possibilities for personalizing a hometown-inspired care package are almost unlimited!
Try decorating your box with maps of the area or photos of you and the family around town. Most craft stores have pre-printed paper and stickers for each state (and some major cities) that you could use as well. You can also use state silhouettes or your city’s skyline as additional decorations.
For wording, think about sayings or phrases that are popular in the city or state. For example, if you’re from Boston, then a phrase like “it will be wicked awesome when you’re home” would be perfect! A great catch-all is “sending you love from ___ (to ____)” as well.
Hometown Care Package Contents
Obviously the best place to shop for items from your hometown or duty station is actually IN your hometown or duty station. But sometimes that’s not always possible, so don’t discount shopping online for this care package. Many small businesses have online storefronts and some local products have found their way into larger grocery and big box stores.
Local markets and small grocery stores often carry locally produced food products, but make sure all items are shelf stable and don’t violate any shipping regulations.
In addition to food items, you could send:
- books or movies set in your town
- cheesy tourist items (souvenir t-shirt, sunglasses, etc.)
- locally-produced toiletries or self-care products
- local newspapers or magazines
- local sports team gear
Bonus tip: if your loved one is deployed as part of a group, you could send a group care package with goodies from your current duty station for everyone to share.
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.