Sending Your College Student a Care Package


Sometimes, there’s nothing like using the old fashioned technology of snail mail to reach out and let your student know that you are thinking of him.  We hope that you’re staying in touch often.  Sometimes, however, we like to make a bigger gesture.  Students always love receiving care packages from home.  The thought counts, but receiving presents – even small tokens – really brightens a student’s day!

 Care packages are appropriate at any time of the semester.  In fact, a package that is unexpected is often a double bonus.  However, care packages may be especially appreciated at particular times.  Sometime during those first couple of weeks for new students is a time when a package may be especially meaningful.  This might also be a good time to include a small item or two that the student might have forgotten to pack in the first place.  Other times when students especially appreciate a package can be those particularly stressful times of midterm and final exams.  Something that might make your student smile, and think about home, will be meaningful.  And if it contains food, it will be appreciated all the more!

 There are services available that will send care packages for you.  The student’s college may even run a fundraiser that sends packages.  Sometimes the packages may be prepared by student groups, or by college food services. These college sponsored offerings usually come around exam time, but might be available throughout the semester – perhaps for a birthday or other special occasion. There are also commercial companies that will send packages at any time.  In some cases, you can select from a checklist which items you would like to include in the package.

 As convenient as these services may be, there is still nothing like a personal care package straight from home.  You will be able to include those special things that you know will be meaningful to your student.  Some items to think about including –

  • Food – Your student will appreciate anything, but will especially appreciate home baked goods, snack items or personal favorites such as a favorite type of candy bar or favorite tea or cocoa mix.
  • Personal items such as toothpaste, deodorant, lotions etc.  (Yes, your student could buy these things, but it is convenient not to have to go out to get them – or to spend the money for them.)
  • School or study items – paperclips, staples, pens, pencils, highlighters, etc.
  • Things to decorate the dorm room – especially holiday decorations.
  • Things to share with friends – this is especially appreciated if you send food.
  • Personal items from home – local newspapers, magazines,
  • The list is only limited by your imagination.  Once you get started thinking creatively, you’ll be surprised about the number of things you can think of.

 A couple of final thoughts –

  • Be careful with perishables.  If you are sending anything perishable, it is best to let the student know that it is coming.  She may not be in the habit of checking for packages every day.
  • Check to be sure that you have the correct address and that it is written clearly.
  • Consider sending smaller packages often.  Finding frequent treasures in your mailbox is fun.

 Sending a care package is a small way of letting your student know that you are thinking about her.  She’ll appreciate the effort that you’ve made.

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