The following are ideas from sponsors, recipients, and other agencies for items to send to your family.
COVID-19 – soap, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, toilet paper, baby wipes, paper towels, cleaning products, antibacterial wipes, antibacterial spray, bleach, laundry detergent, long lasting staples like rice, beans, pasta, canned vegetables, bottled water and shelf-stable milk, thermometer
Cleaning Box – rubber gloves; paper towels; window, floor, counter, bathroom, wood furniture cleaners, etc.; Clorox or other brand (Anti-bacterial wipes); dish detergent, dish cloths
Toiletries Box – toilet and tissue paper; soap; shampoo; hair brushes; barrettes; rubber bands; tooth paste; tooth brushes; wash clothes; towels; shower curtain
Bedroom Box – alarm clock; sheets; pillows; blankets; lamp
First Aid Box – Isopropyl Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, Antiseptic cream, anti-itch cream, Bandages/Band-aids, tape, Cotton balls, Antibacterial soap, Ace bandage; scissors; tweezers; instant ice packs; thermometer
Power Outage Box – flashlights; lantern; cards; alarm clock with battery back up; batteries
Grandma’s Flu Remedy Box – whatever your grandma cured the flu with: chicken soup; ginger ale; Jell-o; tea; saltines.
Back-To – School Box – This box can be sent twice a year, August for the back-to school and Jan for replenishing. It may contain: Elementary School: #2 pencils; crayons; ball point pens; ruler; eraser; pencil sharpener; scissors; glue stick; 4-6 spiral notebooks, wide rule; 4-6 pocket folders; 3 ring binder/notebook paper; back pack.
Jr./Sr. High School: #2 pencils; colored pencils/markers/gel pens; ball point pens; ruler; erasers; compass/protractor; 6-8 spiral notebooks, wide rule; 8-10 pocket folders; 3 ring binder/notebook paper; back pack; paperback dictionary/thesaurus.
Party Boxes – A birthday party, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Back-to-School (this can be made fun), Thanksgiving,Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or for any special holiday the family celebrates. Be creative, any excuse for a party is a good one!
Birthday Box – invitations, paper party goods-table cloth, napkins, plates, cups, decorations – crepe paper streamers, banner, balloons, party hats favors – something small that each guest can take home, cake pan, cake mix/frosting, cake decorations, candles, games – Pin the Tail on the Donkey or similar games from store, wrapping paper
Mother’s Day Box – items to pamper mom: magazine subscription; bubble bath, tea/tea cup just for her; flowers; a wish for a day to sleep in and for quite time
Wedding Box – disposable cameras for the honeymoon; picture frame; candles; gift certificates.
Winter Holiday Box – mugs for each member of family; packets of hot chocolate; ornaments for each family member (could be hand made); a little artificial tree with decorations; a few gifts (preferably one new present per family member), wrapping paper, non-perishable items to prepare holiday meal, gift card to purchase turkey/ham or other traditional holiday perishable food items
New Year’s Eve – a note pad to make resolutions on; noise makers; a list of things you have been grateful for yourself and ask them what they are grateful for or what memories the past year held for them; snack foods for waiting on the ball to drop
General Spring/Summer Box – Bug Spray; fans for several rooms in the house, ice cube trays; Popsicle trays (so they can make their own); pitcher with Kool-aid and a big spoon to stir; plastic cups
Garden Box – vegetable/flower seeds, fertilizer, gardening gloves hand tools (shovel, fork, trowel, clippers), watering can, bug spray, sunscreen, straw hat or visor, hose, nozzle, gardening book, pretty vase.
Outdoor Fun Box – bubbles; blow-up pool; jump ropes; water toys; water bottles/juice containers; sunscreen; flip-flops/sandals; Kool-Aid; bug spray
Summer First Aid – Bug Spray; Sunscreen; aloe or sunburn gel; bandages; Gatorade, Pedialyte for dehydrated children; Calamine lotion or other anti-itch cream.
Picnic Time Box – plastic (reusable) plates; utensils; table cloth/ blanket for sitting on; food containers; picnic basket; non-perishable food items
Rainy Day Box – cards: crazy eights, old maid, standard deck, etc.; book of card games; puzzles; paints; board games; books; magazines; umbrellas; rain coats; snacks
Exploring Outside Box – toy binoculars; books about bugs, birds or leaves; how to create a collage; flashlight for nighttime exploring & flashlight tag; batteries for flashlights
Halloween Box – costumes; fake Jack O’Lantern; decorations; craft kits; candy; make-up; book of Halloween party ideas or games
Kid’s Dress UP Box – hats, shirts, purses, pretend make-up; fake jewelry
Coupon Box – clipped coupons from you, friends and family. Get the people you know to clip and save the coupons they don’t use and send them to your family.
Story Time Box – start a story and send it to your family to add to and continue to send it back and forth until and ending comes about, make a copy and place it in a binder and send it to your family. You can even send props with your story…postcards, pictures, actual things that take place in the story, etc.
Magazine subscriptions; articles you find interesting & think your family will too; craft kits; recipes; books (for adults and children/new or used); smoke detectors (batteries)/carbon monoxide detectors; kitchen supplies; hair accessories; inexpensive toys; coloring books/crayons or markers; sketch pads; Stationary for children (encourage them to write to you with it).
Many stores regularly clear out their stock of goods as newer items arrive, so items can be picked up on sale.
Buy one get one sales are good for this purpose. Another good source are the “Everything is $1” type of stores
Shop online and have shipment sent directly to family taking advantage of free shipping offers.