November 18, 2019
Do you miss a missionary right now, or want to find a way how to encourage them? Creating, packing, and shipping a care package is the best way to show your support. This article provides the best options for your gift, to make it practical, fun, and perfect.
5 Steps For The Perfect Care Package
- Create A Practical List
- Calculate and Research
- Be Creative
- Ship In Advance
- Double-Check Everything
1. Create A Practical List
First, before you go and buy various and random items, it is recommended to create a list of what practical items your missionary would like to receive.
- Where is the mission field located?
- What are their ambitions?
- Which items are a necessity?
- What foods do they like?
Remember to find a balance between which products are useful and with ones are for amusement. Also, do keep in mind the size and weight of each of these items you will be adding to your care package.
2. Calculate and Research
Second, add up the prices of each item, and look up the shipping funds. It is highly recommended to navigate to both the recipient’s mail service and yours to see the complete total for shipping.
Also, researching the shipping rules for each country will inform you of the maximum weight and size the care package can be.
3. Be Creative
Third, get creative in the packaging. There are many different ways to make your box exciting for your missionary. For example, a birthday care package could have present paper taped in the inside of the box, or each item could be wrapped so your loved one can open each gift individually.
Think of fun ways to decorate your care package by adding stickers, scrapbook letters, Bible verses, or anything that you know would bring a smile to their face.
4. Ship In Advance
Fourth, make sure that you send your box months in advance to your missionary. It a very common mistake for a supporter to send their gift and then the package does not arrive until months later.
Worst care scenario, you send them a Christmas or Birthday care package and then they receive it on the opposite end months later. Send your box a holiday earlier, and if your missionary gets it earlier, have them wait to open it on the special occasion.
5. Double-Check Everything
Lastly, double and triple-check the sealed-items, and labels for your box. Writing the wrong destination to the gift will prevent the gift to be sent to the proper location. So, make sure that when you are adding the shipping labels, to have the information be accurate. It is recommended to apply the shipping labels at the post office so that you can receive assistance for an employee there.
Best Items For A Care Package
Here are some common items to pack in a missionary care package:
1. Peanut Butter
Oddly, peanut-butter is the number one item that most missionaries miss when they are on the field. So, adding this delicious treat to your care package would be a big winner. Double-check that your missionary is not allergic to peanuts before sending this to them first.
2. Sunscreen or Bugspray
Adding a manual pump bug spray or sunscreen is the second most practical item to send your loved one. Mission fields like Africa and Asia are known for mosquitos, so sending them this bug preventer would be a lifesaver. Sunscreen is also another important bottle to add to your gift because when is sunscreen never useless?
4. Imperishable Food
Always make sure that you only send your missionary foods that are imperishable. Don’t send them anything that can get stale or mold. Your care package could potentially be traveling to your loved one for several months. You don’t want the recipient to receive a gift that smells of mold.
Again, it is highly recommended to look up the different rules and regulations of which foods are allowed you be internationally shipped fro both carriers. Any boxes that are incorrectly packed can be potentially tossed and your missionary will not receive the gift you have worked so hard on.
5. Individually-Wrapped Candy
Another great item to add is individual-wrapped candy. Make sure these candies are in their original bags and are not a month past the sell date. Shipping food internationally is very complicated, so make sure that you look up the rules and regulations of yours and their country. You don’t want your package to be tossed before it reaches the missionary.
Also, for a seasonal care package, try finding relatable holiday candies such as candy canes in a Christmas stocking, or sweethearts for Valentine’s day.
6. Memorable Gifts
Lastly, sending photos, custom-made items, and personable letter/cards are the best items to add to a care package. Attaching a photo of you guys, the family, or pet to your gift will bring a smile to their face and be reminded about how much you love and support them.
Creating a hand-made craft, gift, or card shows your loved one how much time and effort you took in creating these little treasures. Adding a photo of their home could also help them get over the culture-shock they most definitely are experiencing.
Common Errors With Care Packages
Sending anything internationally is always complicated. The package could get lost due to labeling, items can break, etc. Here are examples that explain the common mistakes people have shipping their care packages to their loved ones, and resolutions to prevent these errors from occurring.
Always have the heavier and bigger items on the bottom. The bigger the mass, the more important that it remains under the items with less density. You do not want your products to clash, break, or spill because you didn’t properly pack the care package in the first place. Also, make sure you apply bubble-wrap or other types of patting to prevent the items from moving around when the gift is journeying across the world.
Chemicals Combined With Food
Never put chemicals such as liquid soaps with edible foods. Even though all items are individually packed (with the original labels) does not mean that the chemicals will not explode. Due to the air pressure during air-mail, all liquid products could potentially open and ruin the sweet treats and edible food inside of your care package.
Another common mistake is not bagging liquid products. Use ziplock bags to seal the item and then place it in another bag. Strong-scented items can also smell up the entire care package. So, make sure to double-bag those nice-smelling gifts in their own separate bags. It’s better being safe than sorry.
Shipping The Package Late
These are the following estimates for international shipping.
International Shipping Time Period
- 1-3 business days: Choose the Global Express Guaranteed option, and you’ll get a money-back guarantee in over 190 countries.
- 3-5 business days: Choose Priority Mail Express International. Same money-back guarantee, plus you’ll get free shipping supplies.
- 6-10 business days: Choose Priority Mail International. You’ll get free shipping supplies.
- (Do keep in mind that this is excluding the time period going through customs and delivery to your missionary’s place.)
It may take up from one month to six. So, stay prepared and ready to send that box in advance for them to receive your gift safely in their hands and on time.
If you are interested in learning more about shipping a care package, I wrote a blog called Missionary Gift Ideas & How To Navigate Int’l Shipping that’s in more detail.