How The “Care Package” Came To Be October 26, 2018


In 1945 22 U.S. organizations came together through a World War II relief organization first called the Cooperative for American Remittances to deliver lifesaving aid and CARE was founded.

The first “care packages” consisted of necessities intended to save lives such as powdered milk, rice, cheese, beans, etc. They were based off the U.S. Army surplus “10-in-1: food parcel” that fed 10 soldiers. “Care packages” started to evolve to be more customized and adapted to different cultural preferences when friends and families started to send them to loved ones in different areas. According to the first Care Package cost $10 to send and arrived in 4 months.

The “care package” has continued to evolve over time, but the premise is still the same; provide comfort and show you care. Today’s care packages still contain necessities, but often contain treats and other items. They are used by people and organizations to show thanks or just let someone know you are thinking about them. They go to our children off at school or away from home, to hospital patients and the elderly to brighten a day, and they go to our heroes who serve our country.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “care package” as a package of useful or pleasurable items that is sent or given as a gift to another. If you search the words “care package” you will notice trademarks for the word. In fact, CARE has a trademark for their CARE Package. Over time the words “care package” have become a widely used, generic term to represent packages sent to provide comfort, relief, or show support, yet there is nothing generic about a “care package” because it is about more than what’s in the box.

CARE is still around today. They changed their name in 1953 to Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere. Their mission is to fight poverty and world hunger and they continue to deliver food to those in need although they phased out care packages long ago as they expanded their work and efforts. To learn more about the first CARE Package and their organization visit their website at Here is the link to the information about the first CARE Package.

Many have recognized the idea of the “care packages” over the years including President John F. Kennedy, who in 1962 said, “Every CARE Package is a personal contribution to the world peace our nation seeks. It expresses America’s concern and friendship in a language all peoples understand.” Thousands of American were involved with sending care packages in the early days and these numbers have only grown over time as more and more “care packages” are being sent.

Sending your care packages through, which is powered by Shipthrifty, helps military families and saves you some money. A portion of the proceeds from each shipping label is donated to help military families in need. also simplifies military shipping so you can send to your hero with ease.