We Know You Care
For six summers I worked in the office at the sleep-away camp that my kids went to. Watching the elation on the camper’s faces when they opened the care packages that arrived from home was priceless. I even put together a few of my own even though I got to see my kids scoot by the office daily. I didn’t want them to miss out on the thrill of knowing they were being thought of or opening a little piece of home.
When they began college, although I realize they were considered adults, I started sending care packages to them at school. The contents certainly differed, but the sentiment was the same. I sent them for various reasons; holidays, midterms or finals or sometimes just because.
Why wait for midterms or finals to send a little something to your student? They may not admit it, but your student probably misses some of the touches of home life, even if their new-found independence trumps a home-cooked meal. When all-nighter study rituals begin you may not hear from them much. And sometimes you just know they are stressed which makes your level of stress go up as well. Besides, just like at camp, it is a great feeling knowing there is a package awaiting them at the end of a long day.
There are many options from making your own to going online and having the whole thing packaged and shipped for you (which is nice too). You can even sign up to have regular care packages sent; Tetherbox.com has semester and yearly plans. Pinterest has hundreds of creative ideas to make your own. From homemade brownies, to teddy bears to my favorite – new underwear or socks, because they probably haven’t done much laundry and fresh ones can buy them an extra few days until they have to. Sometimes just a card will do.
Who Needs an Occasion?
UCF’s Our Campus Market does sell care packages (for finals and other times of the semester as well, ie: Halloween, homesick, Dean’s List congratulations,). Some of what I send mimics what comes in their baskets, but I like the personal touch and knowing that my daughter and her roommates are devouring my homemade brownies (even if Duncan Hines gave me a hand – no judging).
There are many college care package companies that you can order from as well or, for you creative types, check out Pinterest. Pinterest is overwhelmingly amazing. Etsy has some beautiful care packages from miss you boxes with essential oils and a succulent, to a homesick gift box to one with fresh baked oatmeal raisin cookies and banana bread to remind them of home.
When their birthdays roll around, it can be just one more reminder that you won’t be celebrating together so putting together a care package takes the sting out. Once Amazon helped me fill a box with party hats, blowers, balloons, popcorn, candy and her birthday gift. The pictures my daughter sent of she and her roommates sitting around with all that silly stuff and big smiles made me happy. If I couldn’t celebrate with her at least I knew she was having fun. There is an Amazon store located on campus near Towers so it’s also an option to send Amazon packages to this location. You can also return items to Amazon here. One of the places we like for unique cupcakes is a company called Wicked Good Cupcakes. They sell birthday boxes as well as thinking of you boxes. Their cupcakes come in a jar and are very unique.
Some of the local places like Insomnia Cookies that have a few sweet and delicious ideas. Sweets by Holly will deliver the most amazing cupcakes (12 cupcakes for $20, plus a delivery fee). Who wouldn’t appreciate some a cookie cake or cupcakes on his/her birthday? Perhaps they just joined a sorority and you want to commemorate that occasion. Dormify has some great sorority must-haves.
Sometimes they get sick…
For those of you that think a little matzoh ball soup can cure anything, the Hillel at UCF will deliver hot soup to your ailing student through the Jewish Penicillin Hotline. (You don’t have to be Jewish to order from here.) And if this is the route you want to take there is also GrandmasChickenSoup.com. They actually have complete meals as well as soup and other goodies. I hear that chicken soup can heal anything; perhaps it is good brain food for finals as well.
No matter what sort of package you send be sure to double check the mailing address. Too many times we have heard of packages arriving, but never getting to the right recipient.
Should you need your student’s official dorm address check here. For students in dorms, if they put their dorm office on the address to send the package, the dorms all have a mail center and the package will go directly to their mail center. Someone at the office signs for UPS and the postal services and studnets are notified when they have a package. They are allowed to receive food/flowers and the student will be contacted via the office. It is not the offices responsibility though and it is up to the student to pick it up.
All the apartment complexes have their own front office where packages are delivered. You are usually sent an email when a package has arrived for you and you have to go to the front office and show them a picture ID to get the package. Occasionally packages like flowers and Edible Arrangements go straight to the door. For food prep packages, like Hello Fresh or any of those companies, they still go to the office. Very rarely are Amazon package delivered straight to their doors; they go to the office.
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