Every Athlete Abroad Loves A Care Package From Home

First timer, Taylor Houck inspired us to write a post dedicated to care packages.

“I think a great piece that would not only be informative but funny would be what athletes find themselves begging for in their first care package from home. I just received mine today and never felt so much joy in getting items I once took for granted!”

||

IMG_3732-480x290

Items I demanded ||Kayla Jeter Volleyball

Trader Joe’s honey roasted peanuts – they’re basically crack, Quinoa – it’s super expensive here, Palmers Cocoa Butter lotion…2 actually. One for me to repair what Finnish winters have done to my skin and the other for my teammate who is now addicted, Chili pepper flakes/Frank hot sauce– I put that ish on everything, Funfetti cupcakes w/ matching frosting, Nature Valley Honey Oat Bars, Lemon Cookies from a bakery in knoxville that I still ate and were DELICIOUS after a week of international travel, Organic peanut butter, and black beans bc they’re literally nonexistent in the grocery store around here except for the organic store 30 minutes away.” 

||

1233302_10202193062733231_766259257_o

Items I demanded || Michelle Hackley (Bartsch) Volleyball

Peanut butter; although it is available in Germany it is in tiny jars that last maybe a week and pretty expensive. Hair ties; they also have these here but they mostly have the nasty metal clasps. Cranberry Pills; I am prone to getting kidney stones and conveniently got one the first month I was here. Powder Gatorade; it’s nice to have when you’re sick of water. Arm sleeves; I sweat a lot and our jerseys are short sleeved. Unless my setter wants to double contact every ball I pass they are a necessity. Good headphones; we travel everywhere by bus which means a normal bus ride is at least 8 hours. 

||

Taylor Houck and her first car package from home

taylor-houck-a-230_med

I got my first care package from my Mom on 2/12, only two weeks since I had left home. I don’t think I had ever been that excited to receive a package. There is no better feeling then receiving a care package while you abroad. My parents have sent me a lot of things during my time in college but I had never been so happy as I was after I got the first package from my mom. It was a feeling that is hard to explain but just completely made my day.

photo 1

In my first package I was really, really dying to have two things: Band-aids/Neosporin and Girl Scout cookies. When I opened up the package and saw both of these things inside I was elated. I badly needed the first aid items for my body and the cookies were just such a great touch of home. My roommate, who is from Estonia, was very excited to try Girl Scout cookies because she had heard about them from movies and things. She was definitely not disappointed.

Along with these items, my mom also included some warm winter gear. We practice inside a dome that isn’t heated, so it is very cold. Receiving more under armors and long spandex was so great since I had been wearing and washing the same things every day. She also included cards from her and my father which just made me so happy to read.

After getting this package from my mom, I also received one a few days later from a friend from home, which was a complete shock to me. During various Skype sessions I had told her odd things I missed about America. For example: Cheetos, Pop Tarts and nail polish. When I opened up the package I was so happy to see that she included my favorite candy. Inside were Hersey’s kisses, Oreos, Kit-Kats, Twix and other chocolates. The best part was the Turtle shaped wax melter.

photo 2

Before I left home, I recently made the transition from scented candles to scented waxes. You buy a wax from Yankee Candle, just like you would the candle, and then it melts on the melter and spreads the scent. I personally like it much better then a candle because I frequently forget to blow my candles out and with the melter you don’t have to worry about burning down your home. So I was extremely excited to see that she had sent me a melter and my favorite scents to go along with it.

||

Athlete abroad care packages that we spotted

Every athlete loves to show evidence that they are still loved by people from back home.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 3.03.07 PM

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 1.23.39 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-19 at 6.13.03 AMScreen Shot 2014-02-18 at 3.05.46 PM

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 2.57.18 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-14 at 3.02.56 PM1505460_10201556993113397_877329050_nScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 4.44.20 AM

IMG_3340

Care package inspiration

Not creative? No worries, here are some tips and care package ideas to help you out.

Random Tips: The cornier the better. Leave notes. Make it thoughtful. Take time to decorate it. Add a few extras that weren’t on their list because you know they will love them. Add little things. Gather notes from other friends in family to include.

e8cef8e03d3da08663f758800a19fe12 c4de1486f7c65cdd22b2cf4a95dd4bd91c8ac930b04e5e02c07d7ee6f6b78267 2cc99175c8b29255641c02a30ffe2cdf 2d913fb2090839f10977fa491fa2b49b 3a9b8559fbe1f45037a9f0eb1b40a51b 4e08696c6ae85c38f0110df4957be467 5ede19ff43688e08caf1df9a0d7b9969 6cf324e144eae059380931ca6d341282 7a0e45d0799de5aba21d2e34c7b0c8d4 7c5e6e96b057ff4e0067b69d1896dab8 8e025c41d19fab33c7715feba07bcd41 13aea8acfae51e58bc4a1d28126a5d99-1 43b0a27cdfca324e0d6eb16b446e6d0a 68b1a3f92b9741d7460c5beff29e1b53-1 68b1a3f92b9741d7460c5beff29e1b53 86c211ec727e97905143ff5fc77ee7c1 92bea532b8ceab4be17475e59e08cc83 97c7a50b9e7277dedaac18e3080db2ad-1  327bfa44ebc1309d2aee0c29ff8e0aef 375d6121ff86e111bdbfbdde2030b5e0 595b1f4cfdc94b9a08eb98e2ae72dce7 643a9b578d5f140ae0d8dce998e08322 781c23cc1c74b5548614927bdced6710 886faa87b3a29c10e104fc8a30e3b7a8 2422ed38a26057c962268c870855974e 8364c6daebdabb564b4b63fc1786bd55 029251a10dd48e3c1a14dece5885145d 109756a4251de7bd37ac124114619b2c 20866820cd1d0e02a6ea47345be1b0e3 a8e23fac4085d3c7f3da4471f90ece9d a351cfb816fa0a25f65dd149a37e267a ad88c4c4c870d6d3f60aa53a30ef9626 b6ed71b2c946390b89bc4661a521d330 b71a738f4865f2c8cb0b970ff25d3519 ba8f3ee0397a5e5477781dca63f86aed  c4de1486f7c65cdd22b2cf4a95dd4bd9 d0fe85de8c2bc20af62caa11341e9a45 d5a8ca4a08abef82fc22e63ae1c4348b d5dcb6b074cd231491e88af7560aada5 da86d26ac76d804a378fd310cc88c0b5 fc2e4278af64270d40c316217af12363 fda93475ef2d628a0690b0388c002646 fe4d36b6524acd05be7a5f68e03b7d8c DSC_0001 (2) copy DSC_0004 (2) copy DSC_0004qq

DSC_0006

||

Shipping tips

bce865cc1449ba4b764a4cd8e6f4a0ef

DON’T

• Don’t send homemade goods to soldiers you don’t personally know. If you plan to send homemade cookies or treats, you MUST have the name and address of an individual soldier. Troops are instructed to throw away homemade food from people they don’t know.
• Don’t mix food and non-food contents. Because these items are often in the same box for weeks at a time, smells mingle and can ruin food items, i.e. soapy-tasting cookies.
• Don’t send perishable foods, including meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, dairy, or any other foods that cannot safely be left at room temperature for more than two hours. This includes cookies and cakes with a cream or custard filling.
• Don’t send alcohol.
• Don’t send pork or pork products, since they are forbidden for religious reasons.

[Source: Militaryfamily.about.com]

Don’t Overstuff Boxes
It’s understandable that you want to ship as much as possible in each box. However, don’t cram items into the box until the seams bulge. By doing so, you run the risk that the package will open or break during transit.

Reinforce Boxes
Even the sturdiest cardboard boxes in perfect condition have the potential of falling apart while en route to the servicemember. To reduce the risk, reinforce all seams with shipping tape.

Pack Hygiene Items Separately
Don’t pack soap, deodorant and other hygiene items in boxes containing food. Shipping these items separately will prevent food products from absorbing the scent of the toiletries.

Liquid Items
Use caution when sending liquid products. First, make sure the item(s) are not on the prohibited list. Second, pack merchandise such as shampoo, conditioner and mouthwash in sealed plastic bags to help prevent leakage.

Place Address Inside the Box
Occasionally, boxes come apart, shipping labels become damaged or the package must be opened. To assist postal workers or military personnel in delivering the care package, write

• Don’t send high-moisture foods, like pumpkin bread or soft cookies, because of their susceptibility to molds.
• Don’t send fragile cookies, cakes, or pies, since they probably won’t make the trip intact.
• Don’t send foods containing chocolate, since they could melt.
• Don’t pack or send any food in glass or other breakable containers.

DO

• Do pack foods in clean paper boxes, metal food tins, or plastic boxes or bags.
• Do send dried beef or poultry items like beef jerky, turkey jerky or beef slim.
• Do send dense and dry baked goods like biscotti, nut bars, shortbread, ginger snaps, crackers, chips, commercially packaged cakes and cookies, and high-sugar goods like fudge, pralines, toffee, and baklava. (The high sugar helps prevent bacterial growth.)
• Do vacuum-seal any homemade goods if you want to be EXTRA sure they’ll still be safe to eat when they arrive at their destination.
• Do send dried nuts, seeds, and fruit, like trail mix.
• Do send quality coffee and tea!
• Do send canned specialty foods like anchovies, tuna, sardines and dips and spreads.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: