The season of giving is approaching.  This year, wouldn’t it be nice to have a focus for your charity instead of just giving random pockets full of change?  By choosing to donate to items for care packages, you can make one or more soldiers’ holiday brighter. If you don’t know anyone in the service or families of those serving, it can be difficult knowing what to give or where to send your packages.  There are websites that can help you choose to whom to send your packages.  You should look into the websites to ensure who will receive your donations. Sites like have many different ideas and options for donation.  There are options to send to veterans, those in service, wounded soldiers, and soldiers’ families, as well.  Operation Gratitude has several different donations that you can participate in, including a Halloween candy drive!  You can send packages of loose candy your family has collected, as well as unopened packages of toothbrushes and floss.  They ask that you ship these items out before November 15th. soldier care package For those who can’t spare a lot, they ask for Christmas cards, and, from children who aren’t comfortable with writing in cards, they ask for drawings. The site even has pages to print and color in, as well as some crafts that you can do to send them. Sending these personal messages of gratitude means a lot. Those interested in letter writing can even do so year round. is just one of the sites that accept donations for care packages. For holiday donations or one-time donations or letters, has a program as well as all-year programs for those who are willing and able to do so. There are also other sites that you can look at with ideas on what soldiers and wounded soldiers would like to be sent to them. To figure out what to send in your package, these sites have a requested list, with some things that you may not think of; for instance, postage.  It is not cheap to send packages to those abroad or across the country. While people are kind enough to send items, money is needed to ship them to the soldiers. The average shipping cost is $18 to ensure that these boxes will be sent out.  Sending stamps or a check for postage will help all those donations get to the people they were  intended for. santa claus ornament If you do want to create a care package for a soldier, there are many things to think about.  Sending cards or other games can brighten a soldier’s day. While they may not have a lot of free time, entertainment can be a big part these peoples’ lives; a pack of cards is easily stored and quickly packed. Depending on where they are stationed, sending movies for them to watch can be a welcome distraction for them. Without a specific list of items, it can be hard to know what movies to send but, if you stick to comedies or romances, you should be safe. There are a few stores with discounted bins of movies where you can find some good new and classic titles. While you are picking out movies, snacks are a welcomed treat to go with your film picks.  Remember that not all food travels well, so look for snacks like Slim Jims or pre-packaged snacks. Bags of coffee or individual packages of coffee, hot chocolate, and cider packages are delicious treats. If you light up when you see a case of Little Debbie snacks, just imagine how nice it will be for a soldier abroad.  Even sending some holiday decorations can brighten their day. snowman-ornament Even sending more practical items to those who are stationed will be appreciated.  It can be nice to get some of the personal care products that we take for granted, like balm for their hands and new socks which wear down easily. Phone cards are a great present to help soldiers and their families keep in touch. practical items for soldier donations These donations are greatly appreciated no matter the size or the cost.  Sending these care packages is a great way show your support for our troops.  Remember to send your items early in the season but, if you can’t, donations are accepted year-round. US army soldiers asking for donations