Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Care Package

How to create a care package.

Imagine receiving a box of goodies in the mail "just because" someone has been thinking about you.  Not for a birthday, nor Christmas, nor an anniversary, just a box to remind you you're cared for. 

I'd never heard of a care package until my friends in the USA used to talk about sending and receiving care packages when away for university.  

Traditionally, the concept of the care package is to send food, luxury items or money to family when they are away for an extended period of time.  

Recently the memory of the care package concept leapt into my mind when chatting to a friend who is living alone quite a distance from family and friends.  A single mother to teenage boys, she is currently isolated from her kids as they remain in the ACT due to COVID and she continues to live and work 4 hours away.

So I gathered a few items together, boxed it all up and sent it off.  For no reason other than to say "I care".  

Her box included:
  • Warm sweater
  • Self-care magazine
  • Home baked cookies
  • Stationery items
  • Faux flowers

I spoke to her this week and she admitted that she never ever EVER receives gifts.  Other than a bunch of flowers once, she'd never received a gift in the mail.  The care package lifted her spirits to a point her isolation no longer felt quite so "isolating".  

Which got me thinking, how many lives could we change simply by sending a little something to a friend, acquaintance or colleague to say "you are cared for".  

Since sending that box of goodies, I've started another one for a friend who's living two states away.  When I create a care package I think about how the recipient might use all items in one sitting at the other end.  

For the care package I created for my first friend, I envisaged her putting on her comfy sweater, making herself a cup of tea, serving the cookies with the flowers in a vase next to her plate, reading the magazine while using her page tags from the stationery set to mark the pages of the magazine which most resonated with her for good self care. 

My general rule of thumb when creating a package is to include:
  • Something to wear
  • Something to eat
  • Something to read and a
  • Personal treat

Easy cost effective care package ideas include:

Something to wear:
  • Scarf
  • Socks
  • Sweater
  • Hair clips
  • Jewellery 

Something to eat:
  • Home baked cookies
  • Fudge
  • Rocky road 
  • Chocolate
  • Boutique deli crisps or crackers
Something to read:
  • Novel
  • Travel book
  • Luxury magazine
  • Crossword puzzles 
  • Cook book
Personal treat:
  • Faux flowers
  • Body lotion
  • Perfume
  • Make-up
  • Hair care

The package ideas above may seem quite female focussed, but it's easy to create a care package for a guy using the same formula as well.

A male care package might look like this:
  • PJs
  • Chili chips
  • Sports magazine
  • Men's skin care

A care package doesn't have to cost the earth. For as little as $20 or as much as $50 (+ P&H) you can send a box of care to someone deserving.  That small investment in time and money may just create a feeling in them they remember forever.

Have you ever received a care package?

What are your care package ideas?

Give us more care package ideas in the comments below. 

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  1. What a lovely idea. I went to boarding school so the care package was a big deal and the goodies shared with your friends - so it didn't really matter who got the package, it benefitted everyone.

    1. I have heard recently of the care package being big at boarding school. My school had boarders, but I was a day bug so I missed the whole care package thing.

  2. We had a big boat day before lockdown and a friend had printed off the photos for me to give to the people in them. I ended up posting them in frame cards, and because Australia Post is now so slow, it took weeks for the people to get them - so it was a small ISO boost for them, though unintentional but I'm glad it panned out that way.

    1. That would have been a nice surprise. Where did you source your frame cards from?

  3. That's such a lovely idea and so kind and thoughtful. I've never received anything like that before. I remember when I had my twins a girlfriend gave me a nappy service as a gift and it was the most thoughtful and useful gift I could have had as I settled into parenthood with two babies!

  4. Lovely idea. I know that it is rare for those of us who 'care' to get anything isn't it? This is a truly thoughtful idea especially now. I admit I have been sent some beautiful care packages and a big one from a group I am in on FB when I was diagnosed with cancer. It surrounded me with love and care and really helped my recovery. I like to send cards to people, and of course there is the Big Hug Box I support for those with cancer. But this is a very personal idea and I applaud your kind and thoughtful idea. Denyse x

    1. Your care package sounds lovely and something you'll always remember as boosting you when you were down. xoxo

  5. Leanne, Nice and kind ideas. It's an example that it's the thought that counts. #lovin'lifelinky

    1. Yes, sometimes a thought is simply that. But taking the time to turn that thought into action can make all the difference

  6. I love this idea! I made a care package of sorts for my Dad a couple of weeks ago - a choc Mars Bar cupcakes box with a few mini Easter eggs throughout. I think it cheered him up!

    1. Your David Jones samples bundle you wrote about this week is a care package of sorts. Well played David Jones!

  7. My boss sent me one a month or so ago - it had in it dettol wipes, hand sanitiser, a toilet roll, a bottle of wine and a packet of flour. I laughed so hard.

    1. Hahahahaha. That's not quite white I meant, but it'll do! Just the laugh factor is worth it

  8. I don't think I've ever sent or received a care package - I love the idea though and maybe my luck will change in the future. Your ideas sound wonderful.

  9. I love the idea of the care package and your post has come just at the right time, because a friend of mine is in lock-down as a teacher at a remote community. A care package would be a great way of telling her that I am thinking of her. Thank you for the post and the link up. Take care.

    1. So pleased my post was timely! Yes, definitely get a care package to her. Such a nurturing treat

  10. I do love care packages, giving and receiving. A male friend of ours had a nasty procedure recently and was feeling very down in the dumps so we put together a few bits and pieces, including some reading material, things to eat, herbs for the garden and some frivolous things for a laugh best not mentioned here.

  11. I love the idea of care package and your tips of what to include are so lovely! Thanks for the inspiration - it would be so nice if we all did this a little more often.

    1. Perhaps we should have an international are package week where we elevate the idea of the care package to encourage it be done more often. Hmmm. Now you've got me thinking ....

  12. That is such a cool and beautiful idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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