care packages possible from the dollar storeThere are a lot of ways to help others this Christmas season without spending a lot of money. Maybe you know a family struggling to make ends meet -- never mind buy the kids toys. Maybe your organization is sending relief to people cleaning up after a natural disaster. Or maybe you know of a military man or women serving overseas this Christmas.

These are all opportunities to build care packages and Dollar Tree offers suggestions for what to include in each package.

First, determine the type of care package you would like to make. Dollar tree suggests four categories; Support Our Troops, Christmas Gifts, Personal Care and Disaster Relief.

Next, pick a container. Plastic shoe boxes are great for packing things that need to be shipped. You can use these to pack just about anything you want to add to a care package, but there are other options as well, namely, stockings, utility pails, baskets, tote bags, gift bags and baskets and laundry baskets. Pails are a great idea for holding disaster relief cleaning supplies and a laundry basket could be filled with toys and food for a needy family.

Once you determine what kind of container you want to fill and who you want it to benefit, it's time to choose the contents. Fill a child's gift box with things like a stuffed toy, craft kits, mini puzzles, toy jewelery, die-cast cars, small dolls, pocket games, or whatever you can find that would suit the age and gender of the child it's intended for.

Someone in the armed forces would appreciate personal care items like a hair brush, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, disposable razors and body wash. You might also add a couple power bars, puzzle books and pencils or a pack of playing cards.

Fill a utility bucket with cleaning supplies like an all-purpose cleaner, micro-fiber cleaning cloths, sponges, spray cleaners for kitchen and bath, a scrub brush and some fabric refresher to help someone clean up after a natural disaster.

A plastic laundry basket could be filled with bottled water, cartons of milk and other food items and topped with Christmas stockings stuffed with treats and toys for the kids.

There are a thousand and one ways for each of us to help our neighbors this Christmas. If each of us picks just one, the impact will be enormous.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. Her new e-book will show you how to decorate, entertain and give beautiful gifts using only items from the dollar store.



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