With Veterans Day near and the holidays around the corner, it is time to start thinking about gathering up some goodies to send to our men and women overseas. The smallest kind gesture from fellow Americans can be a real moral boost for those active duty soldiers serving overseas. But, what exactly does one put into a care package? What items bring the most comfort to those service men and women away from their families during the holiday season?

Lauren Pomerantz of Soldiers’ Angels and  Becky Pellowe of the Yahoo Group Support From Home compiled a list of items that make for the best care packages.

Hygiene Items

1. toilet Paper - take out the cardboard and flatten

2. sun block (at least SPF-15) and insect repellant, aloe vera gel

3. liquid hand sanitizer

4. baby wipes and refills, Avon Skin So Soft

5. toothbrushes and toothpaste

6. dental floss and mouth wash

7. disposable razors and shave gel or foam

8. Keri lotion (not oil based, for faces)

9. Chap Stick or Carmex, talcum powder

10. Q-tips, face cloths, big fluffy towels (for the ladies), facial cleansing pads

11. nail clippers, files, nail polish (neutral colors)

12. deodorant, shampoo, bar soap, body wash (liquid)

13. feminine hygiene products

14. hair bands, clips, hair spray, hair gel, brushes and combs

15. eye drops

16. facial tissues, saline nasal spray, Dayquil, Nyquil, Tussin

17. small mirrors

18. contact lens cleaner

19. after shave lotion

20. light weight tan or Army green colored cloth 10" X 36" (also called a "sand scarf")

21. Cool Scarf

Food

1. tea bags

2. dried fruit

3. beef or turkey jerky

4. Slim Jims (they go fast)

5. powdered Gatorade, Crystal Light in 1 qt tubes

6. cookies in package or Ziploc bag

7. crackers, easy cheese

8. Chex Mix 9. small Pringles

10. gum, hard candy, Tic Tacs, breath mints

11. trail mix

12. granola bars

13. tuna

14. spices, condiments

15. summer sausage

16. power bars

17. Kool Aid (with sugar)

18. dry cereal (individual boxes)

19. Little Debby snack cakes

20. Ragu Express

21. powdered drinks, juice boxes

22. sunflower seeds

23. instant soups

24. instant oatmeal & grits

25. microwave popcorn (if your soldier has access to a microwave)

26. Kraft Easy Mac

Entertainment

1. magazines, jokes & comics

2. crosswords, word search puzzles, pens & pencils

3. paperback books or novels

4. local newspapers, post cards from your home town

5. small flash lights or book lights

6. disposable cameras

7. Frisbees, Nerf footballs, basketballs, electronic hand held games, CDs & players, hackie sacks, Yo-Yo's, Kids drawings, squirt guns to keep dust down,

8. envelopes and writing paper

9. boxes of assorted greeting cards

10. batteries, especially AA and AAA

11. AT&T phone cards

Miscellaneous

1. plain black sunglasses

2. socks (plain black or white), t-shirts, underwear (various sizes)

3. Clorox wipes

4. Zip lock bags

5. powdered laundry detergent, dryer sheets

6. cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars (if requested)