Over the last 10 almost 11 years I can't tell you how many care packages I've made, probably hundreds. I've sent them to my brother and to service members I adopted when my brother wasn't deployed. I kind of have a system and a plan when I do care packages. Currently I don't have an adopted soldier, I had an adopted Marine who just left Afghanistan and haven't had a chance to get a new one.
The biggest question I hear when it comes to care packages is what to pack. Its a lot easier when you know the person you are sending things to, but when its an adopted one its really hard.
Here are my go to care package items:
-Jerky (everyone I've ever sent to like Jerky I don't get it)
-I always send playing cards, UNO, dice games. Any small game they can play to fill their time.
-small snacks (granola bars, small chip bags, cereal bags etc.) Just small things they can fit in a pocket if they leave their base or if they are at a FOB. My brothers first deployment we would send tons of snacks because how little they had. Iraq '04 was no joke.
- A hand written note, card or letter. This is especially nice when its an adopted soldier, just a small gesture so they know you care!
-Fresh baked goods. My personal favorite thing that I do for my brother and my adopted soldiers it to bake for them.
I think people assume not to send hand made cookies or treats because they may get stale. I've never had an issue, we just makes sure to pack them once they cooled into some GladWear containers.
If you would like some of my favorite care package recipes let me know!
Also if you don't know anyone currently deployed check out Adopt-a-Soldier groups! Some have long term partnerships (being the adopter of a soldier for their whole deployment) or a one time adoption where you send packages or letters one time. Lots of great ways to show support!