Sending Love: College Care Packages Sep20

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Sending Love: College Care Packages

Getting a care package and a note from home is a big deal to a college student. For you, sending one is a fun way to let your student know you are thinking of them.

Imagine your college kid’s delight to receive an unexpected box from home filled with their favorite homemade brownies, family photos, the latest issue of your hometown newspaper and a warm scarf. Care packages can include anything from the homespun to the store-bought, anything you can imagine they would find fun and comforting – treats to share with their new friends, special items from home, fun and nostalgic games, kitchen or bath supplies, clothing, a journal or sketchbook, comic books, seasonal decorations, gift cards, music, movies, etc.

And there is no need to wait for a special occasion, like their birthday, to send a care package. College care packages are always welcome – to mark the start of the school year, during exams, when they are sick… or just because.

Keep it special by not sending packages too often. And if you are so inclined, try to keep the treats healthy– you might want to avoid some of the pre-packaged care packages that are filled with junk food. If you decide to send your own care package from home, an easy and inexpensive way to send it is by using the Priority Mail flat-rate boxes offered by the U.S. Postal Service. Delivery is typically within 2-3 days, depending on where you are sending it. (If your package contains homemade treats, make sure you place them in airtight containers or bags to keep them fresh!)

But maybe you don’t have the desire or time to bake, or are too busy to shop, assemble and ship something yourself. Like the idea of sending a care package but need a little help?

Here are some great, easy alternatives to doing it all yourself:

1. Purchase ready-made care packages online. There are a variety of websites that offer college care packages. While you may want to steer clear of some of the packages that contain mostly junk food, we especially like these websites based on the options available and sheer creativity: offers a large variety of ready-made care packages and gift baskets that will suit any taste and budget. You’re bound to find something you like. (College Care Packages and Dorm Room Survival Kits by a small but excellent selection of unique care packages created especially for college students. What’s nice is these gifts contain great, useful items along with a treat or two. (FYI, Dormify was created by a mother and her college-going daughter to provide fashion minded college girls with beautiful and unique dorm room furnishings, bedding and accessories.)

Some colleges, often through the alumni association, offer their own care packages – check the school website. Although some online care packages can be pricey, it is an extremely convenient way to send something when you just don’t have time to make your own. (These sites are also good sources of inspiration for your DIY college care package!)

2. Contact our super-creative friend Cindi at Girl Friday (on Facebook or call 626-221-5111) for the kind of fabulous, personalized care package you would create for your kid if you had the time and energy.  Her homemade treats are to die for (and beautifully packaged) and she’ll throw in a variety of other great quality items after a quick email exchange or conversation with you about your student and your budget. Just to give you an idea of Cindi’s college care packages, here is one she just created:

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This sample Girl Friday College Care Package includes her delicious rice krispie treats, assorted gourmet candy, a reusable drink cup with straw, tissues, hand sanitizer, band-aids, lip balm, breakfast-on-the-go pack (energy bar, tea bags and nuts), Emergen-C packets, small notebook and an extra toothbrush, and range from $65-80 including shipping. They’ll create something unique for you that will suit your budget and your taste, with the personal touch you just won’t find anywhere else online. Contact Cindi and make sure you ask for the KnowsyMoms special pricing.

3. Contact local shops near campus. This may take a bit more digging (Cindi can help with that too!), but there might be a favorite restaurant or bakery near the college campus that delivers, or a local gift shop that caters to the students that can suggest a collection of the most popular items. (And if you find one, please share with KnowsyMoms so we can help spread the word to other parents.)

4.  Have a care package party with friends. Invite a group of friends with college-aged kids to your home for a fun gathering. Serve drinks and eats, and have each person bring a different item to include in each care package. Gab and eat, and assemble your kids’ packages. (Don’t forget the shipping boxes, which you pick up free at the post office if using Priority Mail flat rate boxes!) A collective effort can provide some creativity and much-needed bonding time with your friends.

Whatever way you decide to go, make sure you include a personal note to your child. A funny card or sweet words of encouragement will mean a lot to your kid, particularly if they are just settling in to college life or taking their first exams freshman year.

Send a care package to your kid today, just because. You’ll feel good about surprising them with a box full of fun and –who knows — you may even be showered with love and gratitude for a fleeting but glorious moment!


Need more ideas?

Care Packages: Ideas to Brighten the Day for College Students and Young Adults

Five Must-Haves for College Care Packages



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