Sending care packages to college students and enlisted members is a great Intergenerational activity that is bonding for all involved. Thanks to Building Faith’s Michelle Palmer for sharing this Great Idea!

Palmer includes a sample letter to parents, requesting the most current address and information about the student (including finals dates) and a shopping list of creative ideas for simple gifts. She does the shopping herself.

You can make this intergenerational by turning the shopping spree into an event: let younger kids who have been mentored by the college students and/or elders who have mentored college students pick out items specifically for them; invite parents or other care-givers to create a list of favorite foods or other simple gifts that each student appreciates – or bring such an item along; invite artsy folx or those for whom shopping is less enjoyable to create a hand-made greeting card to send along – have everyone involved sign it and be sure to include a personal note from any mentors/mentees.

Make the packaging another event (or a continuation of the shopping and card-making event).

Palmer suggests sending packages out a week before finals. This can be tricky, given the variations in school schedules, but it is great timing, if it can be done.

You can build all sorts of mini-lessons into this: demonstrating the love the congregation has for students/enlisted who are away; underscoring the joy and importance of getting a post-secondary education/experience for younger tweens & teens; building in story-telling for elder mentors to share their post-high-school experiences (of any kind; care packages can be sent to students, military, or world travelers, too!); lots of community-building in this one!!

Read the full Building Faith post here.

Let your post-high-school young people know you love them – and build up the community at home at the same time!