Friday, July 22, 2011

Care Packages

Recently, we celebrated my husband’s birthday and even though he was home my mind automatically went to filling a care package. Though this year was more original then beef jerky and Monster drinks I couldn’t help but think of what I may have sent him.

My packages usually consisted of Starbucks VIA coffee, Bliss Dark Chocolate (but only in the winter), ostrich jerky, puzzle books, the kids’ drawings, Goldfish Smores and occasional homemade treats. This year he received his gift through the postal service but it was considerably more fun, came without snacks, and Star Wars in nature.

While deciding what to get him this year, out of curiosity, I googled care package. I loved what I found.“CARE Package” is actually a registered trademark coined by a humanitarian organization, Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, after World War II in an effort to provide food relief to Europe. The first Care Packages look nothing like the ones I sent my soldier. They consisted of : beef in broth, steak and kidneys, liver loaf, corned beef, luncheon loaf (like Spam®), bacon, margarine, lard, fruit preserves, honey, raisins, chocolate, sugar, egg powder, whole-milk powder, and coffee. The only similarities to the ones I’ve sent are the coffee and chocolate.

I actually miss sending Care Packages while he is home. There is something exciting about packing a box and anticipating the look on their face when it arrives. So I found a new recipient, my grandmother. Her packages also contain chocolate along with puzzles, books, children’s drawings, and photos.

What is it about Care Packages that you enjoy? I’m always looking for new ideas and would love to hear your soldier’s favorite items to receive. Have you ever received a care package while your husband is deployed? Perhaps from a civilian friend who just wanted to let you know you weren’t forgotten? What was in it? What would you want to receive?

If you are interested in learning more about the original CARE Packages and how you can get involved in their cause visit

Hope Griffin is an Army Wife who heads up the Military Ministry at Sunrise Baptist Church in El Paso, TX. Her family has been stationed at Ft. Bliss for 3 years now and has one deployment behind them. Hope Griffin is a contributing editor to the new At Ease Magazine.

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