I am crying tears of joy mixed with great sadness as my oldest daughter prepares for her freshman year of college at the University of Maryland in the fall. She has already told me I am to send care packages.
So it was neat to receive a school sponsored offer in the mail "aiming for 100% participation" for the care packages they were selling! What could be more fun for her and easier for me than ready-made packages with my "personal, handwritten note" delivered directly to her dorm.
At least that was what I was thinking until I read the details on the "favorite with student" goodie boxes – the more boxes you buy the better the value. The Welcome Package includes Nerds candies, strawberry twizzlers, fruit candies, potato chips, caramels, Laffy Taffy, atomic fireball candies, Tootsie pops, peanut chews, toffee popcorn, chewy fruit gems etc. Oh yeah there is a mini sports bottle, stationary set and sewing kit in there too.
With the exception of the first package, none of the other boxes contained anything but candy, munchies and other faux goodies, except the Halloween one which boasted a bendable skeleton and a plastic spider friend!
So mom will be making and sending her own care packages! If you have a child going off to boarding school or college, it's easy to make and fill care packages – and certainly more personal.
Students will always enjoy food. So you may want to include some food items they can't find easily on campus or healthy items that you bake. If you are sending perishables wait until the weather is cool. Goods will easily spoil in hot weather. Cookies can be baked, layered on sheets of wax paper and place in a cardboard gift box (like the inexpensive Xmas boxes). Place this box inside a sturdier heavy duty cardboard box, add padding and your other items. Your student may enjoy baked chips, granola bars, nuts, and other tasty items that won't spoil easily.
Tuck in extras like a first aid kit, sewing notions, tea bags, good coffee, a thesaurus, gift certificate to online vendors like Amazon, or to local shops and restaurants, greetings from the family, CD's, stamps, stationary, phone card, mug, oversized tees,etc. personalize it to your student's interests.
Pack everything carefully being sure to tape down the caps of any lotions you are including to make them leak proof. Be sure you have plenty of padding in the box. Have UPS pick it up at your door by calling their direct 800 number or take it to UPS or to the Post Office.
That's the kind of package that shows you really care!
Lee Mellott is the webhost for The PATH Weight Loss: www.fatfallacy.com.
She holds a Masters degree in Education from Hood College. Born in England, she spent most of her childhood in France and Germany. Lee resides with her husband Rusty and their two daughters Katie and Jessica in Maryland.